Before we begin looking at how to share digital resources, we must first think about who will be accessing the resources and where they will be accessing them. For some of you, students will only be accessing web links during their time with you, possibly in the computer lab or on other mobile devices (netbooks, iPads, Chromebooks). Others will find that parents or students would also like to access them from home.
Creating a List of LinksThere are a variety of tools that can be used to simply aggregate a list of web links. If you already have a school webpage, that is the first and easiest way of creating a simple list of links.
If you are looking for a more visual way of organizing resources, SymbalooEDU may be a good fit for you. Looking similar to a smartphone screen, your sites are displayed as icons. You can share the link for your page or embed the visually pleasing display onto your website.
Symbaloo ExampleSymbaloo User Guide [PDF]Accessing Links Remotely or via Mobile Devices
QR Codes are essentially shortcuts created to allow mobile devices to access specific web content. What is a QR code?
In regards to education, QR Codes can be used in and out of the classroom. We have had teachers send home bookmarks with a QR code linked to their classroom webpage, Facebook page, or Twitter page. In the classroom, the codes can be used to differentiate lesson activities for your students. For example, no matter the topic you are teaching, if you have three variations of the assignment, you could direct students to the appropriate leveled assignment through a QR code. No mobile devices in your classroom? No problem! If you want to have the resources available to parents via a QR code, but the students will be using computers in a lab, you can make the image a hyperlink to the destination on your webpage. What about homework? We know that students do not always remember the directions or may just need a little extra help at home with an assignment. Putting a QR code on the top of your assignment that links to audio of directions, a screencast tutorial reviewing the concept you taught during the day, or a video of you encouraging students to do their best will help students to work independently outside of the classroom.
How to Create a QR Code using http://www.qrstuff.com:
Shortened URLsAnother problem with sharing websites, especially shared Google Docs or Google Forms, is the length of the site address. They are impossible to retype if the link did not work or an extra space was added somewhere. I have also walked into most labs around the district with long URLs written on the whiteboard. It takes time for students to type these in the browser and even longer for it to be done correctly! MyBigCampus offers a quick and easy alternative to shorten long URLs. http://mbcurl.me/ will significantly shorten links to mbcurl.me/ plus a few letters or numbers. Even if you are copying and pasting the URL into an email or digital document, this helps your information look visually pleasing and easy to access.
Using District Drives to Share Information
The last way you can share a specific group of links for students to access at school is through the Assignments and Completed folders in the student drives. This process is a bit different for K-4 than for 5-12 because students at those levels have different permissions. View the video for your grade level to see this quick, easy way to share web links for a specific project or activity.Grades K-4:
Best Practices for Classes in a Lab