Sqworl is one of my very favorite web tools for my classroom. It's easy, it's useful and I just love the weird name!
Sqworl is like a mini-webpage that displays all of your links along with a picture of the opening screen for each link.
So, here is how it works: My students click on an acorn icon on the desktop. (Get it? Sqworl = acorn. But this is only on a pc. You Mac users will get a regular Mac icon.) Once they click on the acorn in my class, the screen shown in the photo below opens up. ALL my student links are listed there. Yep, ALL. (If you look closely, you can see RAZ Kids, Star and a few math websites.) Students then choose the link they want, click on the picture and that site opens up. No more hunting around the desktop for each link! No more missing links! No more non-readers struggling to find the correct link. These all have pictures!! Oh, I heart Sqworl! Oh, I forgot to tell you that it is free. Yep, F.R.E.E., FREE! Oh, and I am not even to the best part yet. Keep reading ....
I just hate finding new websites for my kiddos and then running around the room to each computer to create a link on the desktop. Well, I never, ever have to do that again!!!! (Unless I get a new computer or switch rooms.) Now whenever I want to add a new website that I want my students to use, I just sit calmly at my own computer and go into the edit mode of my Sqworl and add that link. Then like magic, the new link appears whenever the acorn is pressed. No more running around the room adding icons to the desktop. Oh, I soooo heart Sqworl. Oh, and there is more. In the past, whenever I taught the children how to use a new website, I would send home the url to parents. No more! Instead, I just send home the Sqworl url at the beginning of the year and students automatically have access at home to any links I add to my Sqworl. Plus, you can have more than one Sqworl page. I am thinking of creating a Sqworl page for science next year. Your Sqworl pages are all linked so again, just one url is needed to have access to ALL of your student links.
Okay, there need to be some issues, right? Well, there are. Sqworl just recently starting putting one advertisement on each page. But the ads are all educational type things so that is fine with me. (That is why Sqworl is free so I can accept that.) Another thing to be aware of, is that the Sqworls are public. This is not the place to add a link to photos of your students or anything else you want kept very private. (When I say "public", I mean it is just like anything else on the web that is not behind a "wall".)
Now, I strongly encourage you to check out Sqworl!!!!! It is really easy to use, but email me if you need any help. There are even short videos Sqworl to help you get started. http://sqworl.com/
Love to all of my followers,