Dan Roberts shared the way he uses 3x3Links – a handy online tool that allows you to set up your own shareable internet start page containing whatever websites you choose. All you need is a Google account to automatically sign in.
One of the tricky things about asking students to research topics on the internet is that many of them just don’t know where to start and they end up wading through lots of irrelevant rubbish. By the time they find a useful website the bell goes and it’s time for lunch and that’s where 3x3Links comes in useful.
Here’s how I’ve used this tool in the classroom. I was starting a topic looking at the arguments for and against cloning so instead of letting the students loose it took me around ten minutes to scaffold their research by creating my own 3×3 link (see the image below). I then shared these nine relevant websites with students using the web address created for me at http://www.3x3links.com/cloning2.This page formed a great starting point for their research.
How to use 3x3Links in the classroom
1. Get students to create their own 3x3Links for a series of homework tasks, the whole class can then look at each other’s links. This could be as part of a long term project or simply as a way of collecting useful websites for revision lessons.
2. Ask students to work together in groups to build a 3×3 starting page for researching a specific topic.
3. When you’re working with students to develop their study skills encourage them to produce 3x3Link pages for different topics containing relevant websites.
4. You could get other teachers in your own school, or department, to create their own 3x3Link pages containing useful resources or starters that they can then share with other teachers. You could even display these pages on the school intranet or website.
If you have a go at using this site then please leave a comment telling us a little bit more about how you used it and what the impact on learning was in your classroom.