I’ve been using Bit.ly for sometime now. It’s a URL shortening website and it’s a very useful service. Not only is it excellent at shortening long web addresses-very handy for younger pupils but it also curates several links into ‘bundles’.
You don’t have to sign up for the Bit.ly service but you do get access to customisation and bundles if you do.
I would recommend you sign up with Twitter as there are great benefits to linking your Twitter account. 1.It curates links you tweet that are shortened (most are customised through Bit.ly )-whether you use Bit.ly or not. 2. You get access to a host of analytics that give you information about how many clicks certain links received.
I discovered a Pinterest board on iPad lessons, I wanted to share the link with colleagues. As the link- http://pinterest.com/techchef4u/ipad-lessons/ was rather long and cumbersome, I pasted it into Bit.ly here-
Once pasted into this section Bit.ly shortens the link and shows this window-
As you can see it has shortned the link to j.mp/UPABU7 Much more manageable to type but not very ‘child-friendly’. This is where the unique customisation comes in to it’s own.
Now just type in any word that is associated with the link and as long as no on else has used that combination, it will be customised. I use capital letters to find unique customisation words but be warned, the customised link is case sensitive and will only work with a reminder of any Caps changes. So the long link http://pinterest.com/techchef4u/ipad-lessons/ got shortened to j.mp/UPABU7 and customised to j.mp/ipadpins. My colleagues and students find the customised addresses much easier to remember and don’t often need to write them down.
The real beauty of Bit.ly is that you can collate links together and share loads of links with one URL.
Just click the ‘Add to Bundle’ text and select an existing Bundle or create a new one. As you can see I added the iPad Lesson Pinterest board to my Ipads in Education section.
I use the ‘Bundles’ a great deal, whether it’s sharing a load of links from one of my Teachmeet presentations or getting pupils to use certain websites for research.
Here’s one I did for my pupils when I wanted them to research ‘The History of Sheffield’, no wasted learning searching for the right website.
Bit.ly also gives users the opportunity to create their own customised ‘Domain’ linked to your Bit.ly account. As you can see in my own account I have created the domain idsfac.me custom domain name. Not only does it look cool but the web address links to all my ‘Public’ Bit.ly shortened links.
There are a lot more features of Bit.ly that I haven’t written about that will be of use-like the analytics and data. I’m sure if you’re interested you’ll find out about those yourself.
In summary, Bit.ly is extremely useful in Education. It’s great for Pupils, teachers and CPD-with Bit.ly you really do shrink the web!Written by Julian S Wood - www.ideasfactory.me/about/"rel="author"