Before I begin, I'd like to extend a HUGE "thank you" to the organizers of the mass professional development day held yesterday in Peace River, AB. It was great to reconnect with many colleagues that I've met both in real life, as well as on Twitter from all over northern Alberta including Peace River, Grande Prairie and High Prairie areas. The opening comments by the Minister of Education @davehancockmla set the stage for a fantastic day centered around technology. As per usual, I enjoyed leading teachers through various SMART Board workshops (and would like to again thank those from my first session who were patient while we worked through some troubleshooting issues surrounding Windows 7!!).
Why else did I enjoy my time up North so much? It's breathtakingly beautiful this time of year. See for yourself:
Ok, so I'll admit, now that I've hooked you with a gorgeous photo, the following blog post isn't THAT exciting today...but it's very useful, so stick with me...
URL shortening is one of those activities that is necessary and/or useful for a few reasons:
1. Twitter only allows 140 characters so I can't include a link to a site with 160 character URL
2. We've all had that experience where we've tried to type in a URL that someone has given us and somewhere in the abyss of the bazillion random letters, numbers and special characters have discovered that we've made a mistake and now must sort through the mess to find the one character error.
One thing that I always thought would make it better? If only I could customize the shortened url in order to make it more memorable (similar to what I do with drop.io for file sharing). Well guess what? I indirectly learned that it IS POSSIBLE from the Digital Citizenship Symposium that I attended last week. Thanks @courosa and @shareski for sharing some of your links via a customized bit.ly link and hence opening my eyes to the possibilities!
So, how does one customize their bit.ly url? Easy. Sign up for a bit.ly account, sign in and select "Customize" beside the automatically randomly generated shortened url. (see screen shot below)
So now I can turn the garbly gook url into something more memorable like http://bit.ly/vcassie which is simple for me to verbalize to clients, students in my class and colleagues.
Try it for yourself! I promise you, it will save you numerous headaches in the future :)