BY AARON FOWLES
Sometimes you want your students to visit websites. At other times, you want your students to visit websites that you’ve chosen. At yet other times, you want students to visit websites that you’ve chosen in a particular order with a minimum of fuss. For those times, there’s fur.ly.
Fur.ly is a link aggregator that will take as many links as you’d like to feed it and generate one short URL. When that URL is accessed, the first page in the list is displayed, along with a yellow fur.ly banner across the top. The webpages in the list can be accessed using left/right arrows or a drop-down list. The list created from the sites in the photo above can be seen here.
Since students sometimes have a tendency to wander while online, this could be a great tool to keep them focused on the task at hand. In the same way that a webquest sets out a list of sites for students to visit, a fur.ly list could take students along a predetermined path designed by the teacher to aid in discovery.
This site has the additional benefit of generating short URLs (similar to services such as bit.ly or is.gd), but fur.ly’s URLs are not yet customizable. I can’t imagine this will be long in coming. Besides the webquest-type of use mentioned above, I can imagine using fur.ly to group similar URLs together for reference if your students do a lot of work online and will need to get quick information from the same sources over and over.