Monday, October 27, 2014

Share it JUST in TIME

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Distributing resources to your class in a quick and effective way has always been part of a good teacher's skill set.  The quicker you can do this, the more time you and your students have to spend learning. As many of our resources have become digital resources that live in the cloud,  teachers need a a way to organize and distribute  these digital resources as efficiently as they can hand out a pencil, a booklet, or any other classroom resource.

A portal, a class website, or a learning management website  are a great way to organize resources for your students,  but every good teacher "monitors and adjust" lessons quickly and sometimes updating your website or LMS on the fly is not the most fastest way to lead an audience to a web resource.  This is when URL shorteners and QR codes can contribute to AGILE learning.

A URL shortner takes very LONG URLs and makes them SHORT so they can be more easily copied down or take less room to display.  A QR code is one that uses a special app along with your  device's camera to quickly locate a web web resource. 

Adding a SHORT URL or QR code to a poster, a website,  a handout,  a chakboard, or bulletin board, or even on a physical object can not only provide a quick and easy way to give students, parents, and audience quick access to a needed piece of information or to rich multimedia resources that enhance the experience.  One of my favorite tools for creating BOTH  short URL's  and QR codes is  Goo.gl.   For example the SHORT URL for this we page is http://goo.gl/lxjlH8




Learn to create both short URL's and QR codes with the goo.gl Chrome App. 




I can quickly write this SHORTened URL anywhere for anyone to quickly access simply by typing it into their WEB ADDRESS bar.  It is important to use the actual WEB ADDRESS bar and NOT the Google search bar since it was created only minutes ago and a Google search will not find this address.



Or I can save, copy, and/or print the QR code to be used on a handout, a bulletin board, or even a physical object.



A quick and easy way to gain access to this tool is to install the goo.gl Url Shortner Chrome Apps extension



From this extension you can quickly create and copy a shortened URL in one step or create a QR code.  When properly set up it will even keep track of  the details of this short URL or QR code (added to history) that you can refer to simply by going to http://goo.gl.  Here you can see all the other short URL's you have made, their QR codes, and more details like how many times they have been clicked on.

QR codes are easily accessible from most mobile devices using a QR scanner app such as  i-Nigma for many other QR reader apps.  But did you know that there are QR apps for your Chromebooks also.  Just search the app store for QR readers and install  ScanQR or other QR readers Chrome Apps so that your students can use their Chromebook cameras to read QR codes in books, on walls, and more.




Simply find your QR reader in your collection of Chrome Apps and click on it to turn your laptop or Chromebook's camera into a QR reader.


One of the most powerful coolest use of a QR code  I've seen is a painting with a QR code that brings you to a time lapsed movie of the piece of art being created.

Put these tools in your student's digital toolkit and you may soon find learners adding QR codes to their finished products that lets the audience view a movie of the process OR of the learners reflecting on the project.


What are your favorite tools for shortening url's or creating and reading QR codes?  What innovative ways have you found to use these tools to support teaching and learning? 



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