Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shortening Long URLs

We've all found great sites and/or resources that we want to share with students, friends, colleagues, and have ended up with email splitting the web address because the URL was too long. There are two great sites for making short URLs.

First is It's been around for a few years, but now has a great new feature that allows you to customize your tiny URL. Clicking will take you to the Global Virtual Classroom's primary sites grand prize winner. This is much easier for students and parents to remember than the longer URL. TinyURL does not require a signup to use it, and is quick and efficient. It can also just generate a random URL.

A second choice is which only requires a sign up if you wish to customize. Using the same site as above, the customized URL is Shorter than TinyURL, but takes more time if you need to log in. No login required to generate a random short URL.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Creating video lessons or tutorials is a very helpful tool. The problem to date has been that either the software to do so has been expensive or editing was quite difficult. Welcome to ScreenToaster a free screencast video tool! The original version allows for audio and subtitles, but I found it didn't work well with Mac for starting and stopping. Their new beta version is easy start and stop, but is missing a pause feature. However, with either version, it is possible to download the video after it has been completed (downloads as mp4) and use video editing software to put in your own subtitles, add audio if desired, and cut out unwanted sections of video. (So perhaps the pause is not needed.) It took less than 20 minutes to create and edit this video tour of the GVC website. Edited video can also be uploaded to TeacherTube.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Timeline tool

Timetoast is an easy to use timeline generator. Does require setting up an account, but all free. There are many already created that can be helpful to students and teachers alike. Best of all they can be embeded into a web page or blog! Here is an example:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Quick & Easy Word Searh

Word Search Maker does all the work, and making word searches is the only thing it does. So, no need to look through multiple menus or move from page to page. The results are instant and can be embedded on a web page or blog or simply linked. Create some fun searching for spelling words, new science vocabulary, or a multitude of other things, as shown in the sample below.