Web Wonder Week #13 – 3x3Links

Experienced teacher and tech visionary Dan Roberts shares practical ICT ideas to use in the classroom. This week he’s discovered a tool that lets you create a web-based jump-off page to distribute to your students.

3x3Links is 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 3x3 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?site=aus.This page formed a great starting point for their research.

3x3 ink

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 3x3 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.


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Who is Dan Roberts?

Dan Roberts is a former deputy headteacher at Saltash.net Community School and is now headteacher at the International School Seychelles.

Dan is known to many who have read his blog as the ‘Chicken Man’ thanks to his work in the Recharge the Battery science project, which began when pupils wanted to rescue battery chickens from a local intensive farm to live a free-range life at the school. This scheme became the basis for a unique curriculum which has since been disseminated around the globe by Microsoft.

In recognition of his work, Dan won the ICT Visionary Award at the 2012 TES Awards, where he was commended as, “no one-trick pony (or even a one-trick chicken), but a bold scavenger who explores all sorts of different technologies and discovers new approaches for other teachers around the world”.

Keep up with Dan in on this blog and on Twitter @TesEdTech