Our ability to send students to the great resources that we find or create online is a huge advantage in our tech-enabled classroom teaching environment. According to our own 2013 stats, 91% of ESU students own laptops, 34% own tablets, and 73% own smartphones. Add in the few hundred Elementary Ed students who will be bringing iPads as part of the new Hornet Connected Learning initiative, and we have a great opportunity to use these resources in class. But only if students can get to them.

The problem arises when we tell students this: 

long urlWhat are the odds that most of the class can type that in correctly in less than a minute?
So instead, take students to the same place with a friendlier URL that looks like this:

How? Use one of many URL shorteners available online ( ,, …) I tend to use

Different shorteners may have different features, like being able to track the number of clicks on a URL, but they all work in about the same way. Just copy the ridiculously long URL from your target page, paste it into the box on the shortener’s page, and hit the big button. Up pops the short URL , which you can copy and paste where necessary.

url shortener

Even if you are posting the URL online, say in Canvas, where students can simply click the link and don’t need to type, a short URL really cleans up the page.

So whether you are sharing a Google spreadsheet on which a class can enter data together, or distributing the day’s updated presentation notes, help students get there faster and easier with short URLs.


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