Managing web addresses or URLs with students can be a difficult process, especially when you want to share multiple websites for one project. A launch page or URL collection is one way to easily manage multiple web addresses in one place. Sqworl and Symbaloo are two tools that teachers can use to help create and share collections of websites with their students.
One simple tool for sharing multiple web addresses is Sqworl. Sqworl allows a user to quickly and easily create a visual collection of URLs from multiple sites and combine them on one page. Sqworl creates one short URL that brings you to a landing page with all of the sites you are sharing. Below is a screenshot of a Sqworl that I created with multiple research site links. As you can see, a thumbnail and short description of each site is available and each thumbnail is a link to that site.
It is important to note that the free version of Sqworl is ad supported and ads will be displayed on the landing page that you share.
To create a Sqworl page, a free user account can be set up in just a matter of seconds. One other great feature is that Sqworl will show you how many times your links have been viewed.
Symbaloo EDU – Symbaloo is a full-featured resource which allows you to create start pages with links that can be shared with others. Here is a gallery of some Symbaloo pages that have been made by some of our very own EVSC staff members. Below is a screenshot of a math Symbaloo page. Each square that you see is a link to a site or digital resource that can be shared with a visual tile. If you want to explore this tool more, here is a link to a post about Symbaloo from the ICATS page.
Another great option for collecting and easily sharing web content with students is Blendspace. Below is a screenshot of a Blendspace lesson that I found in the Blendspace gallery. The gallery contains many lessons already but creating lessons is as simple as dragging and dropping content into the squares in the order you would like students to interact with it. Creating an account is free and once you have an account, you can also track the number of views to see how many students have interacted with your lesson. You can also find lessons in the gallery and copy them for your own use and modification. At this link, is a post from the ICATS site with more details about getting started and going deeper with Blendspace.
Ways to Use a Collection of Websites in the Classroom
- Teachers can curate links for virtual lessons and share only one link with students and parents instead of multiple links for each resource.
- Teachers can create specific research site collections for students working on projects. This would allow a teacher to select which sites would be the most appropriate for the grade level and the topic they are researching.
- Teachers can share at home practice links with students and parents as a single link.
- Teachers can provide extra video links and share them as a collection to assist with homework.
- Teachers can have students set a single classroom collection to a homepage on a device. The teacher can then push out new links to their homepage as desired.
- Have another idea? Feel free to share in the comments below.