Thursday, March 7, 2013

Google URL Shortener and QR Codes

Long links beware! Your days are over confusing students with your craziness such as:

Students will find it difficult to type the web address above into the address bar to access a website.  At our middle school (grades 5-8) we have taught teachers to access the best thing for saving students time and confusion---

This small, but not insignificant web URL is a blessing for teachers everywhere. When used it simply shortens long links into manageable links that students can easily type into an address bar. The long link above can be shortened to a simple code that when typed into an address bar it goes to the long link. For example, the one above turns into In addition to the creating of a permeant shortened link, Google also creates a QR code automatically, you dont even have to tell it to do so. Follow the steps below to learn how to shorten links using Google's URL Shortener

1.  Go to in a Web browser
2. Copy any Web address to shorten.
3. Paste the Web address in the box shown in the figure below

 4. Click the Shorten button to reveal the shortened link found in the next figure.
 5. E-mail, Tweet, Facebook or write the shortened link down to access later or share with friends.

In addition to this amazing feature, also automatically creates a QR code for the link. Snap the QR code with your QR code reader and the student will be taken to the shortened link, without having to type anything into the address bar. 

Follow these steps to find out how to access the QR CODE

1. Follow the steps above to shorten a link

2. Click the Details link found in the list of shortened links as show in the figure below (Follow the 

  3. Look in the upper right corner of the next page that opens to see the QR code. (shown below)

Right click to copy or save the image. Post it to Facebook or print it on a t-shirt. The link and code is made and will not change. 

See the list of ideas below about what to do with a shortened link or code

  • Link a Google Form for a quiz to a shortened link or QR code
    • This allows the students to simply access an assessment through a Google Form
  • Create a scavenger hunt 
    • create a scavenger hunt with links to Google Docs that give clues to the next location
    • scan them with iPads or other tablets to create a fun learning activity
  • Link a shortened link to a parent survey through Google Forms, post the link on the school's official Facebook Fan page. Click here for a great example:
  • Print multiple QR codes on a sheet of paper that is linked to the learning activities or lesson plans for the week. Share with parents and students. 

Anything is possible with Google URL shortener. Leave comments below on how you use it. 

For more checkout my New Book form Corwin Press: Google Apps Meets Common Core