One thing that can cause a lot of headaches when getting students to access a particular site is that they can easily mistype the long URL that is present for many sites. Using an URL shortener can make this a simpler, faster and more efficient process. There are many sites that you can go to and insert a long URL which the site will then shorten into a smaller URL that can be quickly typed in. My favorite is www.bit.ly but there are countless other sites(http://goo.gl/ , http://tinyurl.com/ , and http://ow.ly/url/shorten-url to just name a few).
If you use the Chrome browser, which is the best browser, you can easily add an extension so that you can automatically create a shortened URL for any website you are on. Open Chrome, or if you already have it open you can just open a new tab, and select the Chrome Store.
On the left side of the page you will find various categories, select the “Extensions” category.
In the search window in the upper left, type in goo.gl url shortener and hit return. The goo.gl url shortener will appear in the extensions part of the search results.
Click the “Add to Chrome” button to add the extension to your chrome browser.
A window may pop up that will state what the extension can access, just click the “add” button.
The extension button for the url shortener will appear to the right of your URL window.
Any time you are on a site and want to be able to share that link with someone else using a shortened URL, just click the goo.gl button and it will produce a shortened link.
There are many other extensions, a future blog post will go into more detail, that can make things simpler and quicker for you.