Sunday, February 24, 2013

Guest Blogging for WeAreTeachers

I've been invited to guest blog for WeAreTeachers. Guest blogging is a new experience for me, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out!

My first post on using LiveBinders to organize online resources went live last Tuesday. I'd love for you to head on over to the WeAreTeachers blog and check it out!

Have you ever been asked to guest blog or asked someone to write a guest post on your blog? If either situation applies to you, what motivated you? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why is My New Favorite Link Shortener

One of my favorite things about attending the TCEA conference every year is the incidental learning that takes place. Incidental learning happens for me when I'm in a presentation or having a conversation with someone, and I discover a tool I didn't know about before. It usually isn't the focus of the particular presentation or conversation; it's just something the presenter or person I'm talking with uses without a second thought. But to me, it's an amazing discovery.

This year I was sitting in the opening planning session for Edubloggercon when someone asked organizer Scott Floyd (@woscholar) why he used to shorten the link to the Edubloggercon website. He explained briefly you could create an account on the site, save shortened links you create, gather data on how many times the links are hit, and go back and edit them if you need to. I was instantly interested.

I looked into later in the day, and I was able to create an account and start using it within minutes. You don't have to create an account to shorten a link with, but it's a more useful/powerful tool if you make an account.

Much like, which I used extensively in the past, I could ask the site to randomly create links or customize them. I like making custom links that make sense, and I was able to quickly make links to the presentations I had coming up later in the week: and

While creating my first shortened URLs, I also discovered automatically creates a QR code for each of your URLs. That is so awesome! I downloaded the QR codes for the session links I made and posted them nice and big on the screen at the start of my presentations along with the link. It helped everyone quickly access the resources at the start of each of the presentations I was involved in.

So, to sum it up, here is why I love for creating shortened URLs:
  • I can save my shortened URLs in my account.
  • I can make custom URLs.
  • If the long link for a shortened link ever changes, I can just log in and edit it. The will redirect to the new link no matter where the has been posted on the web. 
  • I can also edit the shortened link if I want to.
  • I can download an automatically created QR code for each of my URL's, which is great for presentations and classroom use. I can log in to and regrab those QR codes no matter how often I need them. (The QR code also updates if you ever change your long link or link.)
  • I can get statistics on how many times the resource behind the URL has been accessed. That's especially nice if I've created a shortened link for presentation materials or I want to see how often students are using resources I've pointed them to. Pretty fascinating stuff!
I think is a great tool for conference presenters and staff developers who want to get people to their resources as quickly as possible either through a nice, short link, or a QR code. If you are teaching in a 1:1 and/or BYOD environment, this could be an amazing way to streamline student access to your resources. Whether your students have to type a link into a laptop browser or they can scan a QR code with a tablet or phone, has you covered both ways.

Give a try and let me know what you think in the comments! Or, if you have another favorite link shortener, please share!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Organize, Curate, and Share Your Online Resources - #TCEA13

Scan the QR Code to Go to the LiveBinder
Today Kim Garcia (@DigitalLearners) and I (@EdTechSandyK) are presenting on the topic Organize, Curate, and Share Your Online Resources.

Posted here are a link and a QR code which will take you to a LiveBinder with the resources for our presentation. We hope you enjoy the learning!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Twitter for Professional Learning - #TCEA13 #Twitter4PL

Today @MagisterWarren and I (@EdTechSandyK)  are presenting a workshop on Twitter for Professional Learning at the TCEA 2013 Convention and Exposition. Below is a link to the LiveBinder with all of our presentation resources. If you are in the workshop with us, we hope you enjoy it! If you are just stopping by this blog, I hope the resources in the LiveBinder will be useful to you.

You can also follow the hashtag #Twitter4PL to see what was tweeted on the topic before and during the workshop.

Happy Tweeting!

P.S. While waiting for the workshop to begin, you might want to check out The 10 Stages of Twitter for Teachers

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why Do Educators Use Twitter?

In preparation for a workshop I am co-teaching at the 2013 TCEA Convention and Exposition on Twitter for Professional Learning, I sent a few requests out to my Twitter followers to ask them to share why they use Twitter as educators. Considering it was Super Bowl Sunday, I think I got a pretty good number of responses!

I asked the respondents to use the hashtag #Twitter4PL and used Storify to aggregate responses based on the hashtag. Below are their responses, embedded in slide-show format from Storify.

Is a reason you use Twitter as an educator not included below? Please share in the comments!