Archive for March, 2010

On-Again, Off-Again

March 22, 2010

In my 2008 post, Economy’s Impact on Web 2.0?, I asked the question “what if some of the free tools we use every day disappear tomorrow?”  I frequently use URL shortening services like tinyurl,, and  When I need to send my students to a shared Google Spreadsheet to enter lab activity data, if I want to mention a resource in a podcast, or if I just need to fit a resource into Twitter’s 140 characters, I go to first.

I shortened a URL with just the other day:

Now, their home page is referring users to alternative sites, indicating that no new URLs may be shortened using the website. is no longer accepting URL shortening requests via its website. May we respectfully suggest that you choose one of the many other wonderful alternatives available.

Please understand that this does not affect any software that has tr.imavailable within it.’s API is available, and redirections are working normally.

This isn’t the first time has gone down, but I worry that this time it’s for good.  I would like to use as my new URL shortener because of it’s speed (and I doubt Google’s going to shutter anytime soon).  Unfortunately, it’s API-only at the moment.  I guess I’ll use in the mean time.

We need a Google Tips clearinghouse

March 21, 2010

Since becoming a Google Certified Teacher, I’ve come across so many great technology resources, tips, and contacts that they’re impossible to enumerate.  It seems like everyone has a little corner of the web set aside to share their ideas.  I’m working on one myself to support my upcoming workshop, Go Paperless with Free Google Tools.

I was looking at Kathy Schrock‘s Google Goodies page, and I found this neat trick:

If you publish a Google Doc or Spreadsheet, and you want your users to have their own copy of the document or template, forward them the URL with &newcopy appended to the end of it.

What we need is a common clearinghouse for all of these sorts of Google tips and tricks.  Each Google tool has its own help documentation and associated forum, but I’m not sure that’s the right place for it.  The email traffic from the Google Certified Teachers discussion group is rich in resources and tips, but it is only open to the GCT community.  The Google Teacher Academy resources page is a start, but it’s not exactly what I have in mind.

What to do…

Workshop: Go Paperless with Free Google Tools

March 12, 2010

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m leading a 3-day workshop for teachers and administrators interested in learning how to increase collaboration and reduce unnecessary printing using tools that Google offers to schools and non-profits absolutely free.  This workshop will be in Hot Springs, Arkansas June 21-23, 2010.  The registration fee of $150.00 includes lunches and all materials.

This 3-day, 18 hour technology workshop is designed for classroom teachers and school administrators who want to learn new ways to increase collaboration, improve the quality of student feedback, rely less on printed documents, and leverage the many powerful tools Google offers free to schools.  It is taught by Google Certified Teacher Daniel Moix.  Topics include collecting data with Google Forms, creating custom heat maps with Google Spreadsheets, facilitating peer edits with Google Documents, planning lessons with Google Calendar, and more!  Make a school or classroom website.  Share your district’s curriculum documents in one place so everyone is on the same page.  See how the ASMSA Counseling Department has automated the transcript request process for college applications.  Participants will learn how to do all of these things with their personal Google accounts, and they will learn about the additional capabilities of Google Applications for Education such as posting classroom video projects online that are accessible only to those at your school.  This workshop is limited to 15 participants, and it will fill up quickly.

Please pass this information along to educators in your organization who might be interested in this hands-on program.  To claim your space, contact Kim Singleton by email or toll free at (800)345-2767.  The deadline for registration is May 1.