Sunday, April 7, 2013

URL Shortener

Setting: Teacher in the Computer Lab

Student A: Mr. Gibson this website isn't working!
Mr. Gibson: Did you type it in correctly? 
Student A: Yes, I tried everything!
Mr. Gibson: You typed in .con not .com. Try it again.  
Student B: Mr. Gibson this website isn't working!
Mr. Gibson: Argh!

URL Shortener in the Classroom

Are you tired of watching students mistype long web addresses?  Shorten them with a URL shortener.  I feel like I'm writing the intro to an infomercial.  Here is an example of a URL Shortener's benefits.  Take a look at this long Google Docs URL: 
Even your most tech-savvy student would struggle with this Google Docs web address.  Now try the next two shortened web addresses (*an additional resource can be found by clicking either one of the following links):

Short List of Shorteners

Additional Benefit and One Warning

There are some URL shorteners that allow for tracking.  For instance, if you gave parents a shortened URL at parent teacher conferences and wanted to check how many parents actually accessed the link, it could be done with  

I will warn that some shorteners may be blocked by your web-filter; however, I know TinyURL,, and work.  Many other URL shorteners were blocked by my school districts web-filter, but don't let that discredit the idea behind using shorteners.  Try it the next time your students have to go to a long and overly complicated web address.

For another alternative similar to using a shortener, check out my post on QR codes.  


  1. Great post! I appreciate! I want to see another tinyurl site. If have, let me know.
    Thank you