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Richard Byrne reminded me earlier this week that URL ( uniform resource locator ) shorteners are very simple ways to make web navigation more effective and time efficient for you and your students. Here is a comparison of three popular URL shorteners; Google URL Shortener , Bitly URL Shortener , and TinyURL.com . Google URL Shortener - is my personal favorite. Simply copy the original, lengthy URL and paste it into the space provided at goo.gl . Google then creates the short URL that can be copied and pasted as a link into blogs, tweets, or presentations. Google URL Shortener becomes even better when the Chrome browser is partnered with the Google URL Shortener Extension . One click condenses the URL from dozens, to possibly hundreds, of characters down to a randomized assortment of five letters and numbers. In addition, this click provides an option of creating a QR code from the URL. Usage statistics for the shortened URL can be tracked through Google Analytics.