Author: Sue Frantz

QTT: How Many People Have Clicked on Your Link?

Quick Tech Tip. For shortened URLS, did you know that you can get analytics by adding .info at the end of the URL? It doesn’t even need to be the URL you shortened.

Try it. Go to (page will open in new window). You will see how many people have visited that link, when they visited, how they got there, which browser they used, which country they’re in, and which platform they used.

It’s handy if, for example, you want to see how many of your students might be reading, or at least viewing/downloading what you’ve assigned. Remember, you can get URLs for any file or folder in Dropbox (see this blog post). Shorten the URL at, then watch what’s happening by adding .info to the end of the shortened URL.

Screencast-o-Matic: Easy Screen Recorder

If you have Tegrity, Camtasia, or Camtasia’s lightweight little brother Jing, and you’re comfortable with those, no need to venture into new territory. Unless of course you are looking for a quick screen recorder without the bells and whistles with a 15 min. recording limit. (The Pro version gives you much more power at $15 per year.)

Make sure your microphone is ready to go, then visit Screencast-o-Matic, and click “start recording.” No login needed. Say yes to any dialog boxes that might pop up. And then you will get this dotted box.

Anything that is inside the box screencast-o-matic will record. To resize the box, click and drag any of the little squares.

Check the volume on your microphone by looking at the meter on the toolbar. Click the down arrow next to the meter to choose a different microphone.

Click the WebCam icon to choose your WebCam and turn it on.

Your WebCam video will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen. Even though it is outside of the recording area as designated by the dotted box, the WebCam will still be recorded.

Click the record button (red circle). When you’re done recording, you can grab the red triangle at the bottom of the WebCam window to resize it. Click and grab the WebCam video to move it where you want it to appear in your screencast.

Now choose where you want to publish it.


If you publish to Screencast-O-Matic, you will need to register. You only need an e-mail address and a password. Add a title and description, add any notes you would like, add captions, and choose your options. If you publish to YouTube, add a title, description, tags, choose whether your video will be public or private, add captions, and choose your options. If you publish to “video file” the video will be downloaded to your computer in one of four file types: MP4, AVI, FLV, or GIF. Add notes, captions, and choose from the remaining options.




I opted to publish my video (titled Screencast of Screencast-o-Matic) to the Screencast-o-Matic website.

Once available on the Screencast-o-Matic website, visitors can add additional notes, make comments, download the video, or get an embed code.

Here’s a video I just recorded, placed here using the embed code.

Dropbox: Get Link (No, I Don’t Mean the Public Folder)

The newest Dropbox feature, made available to all on 4/23/2012, is “get link.” You no longer have to put content in a public folder to share it.

Open your Dropbox folder, right click on the filename or folder (yes, I said folder!), and under “Dropbox” select “Get link”.

Or if you’re accessing your files from the website, mouse over any file or folder, then click the “Get link” icon.

If you choose to share just a file, your file will open in your browser. Copy the URL from your browser to share with whomever you’d like. The recipients can view the file in the browser window. If they would like a copy for themselves, they can click the “Download” button.

In the image below you can see that I’m sharing a folder called “Syllabi”. In the browser window you can see all of the files and folders I have in there. Clicking on the “Old syllabi” folder, you would see all of the files and folders in there displayed in the same way. Clicking on a file would show the file contents like in the image above and the “Download” button would appear.

When you’re ready to stop sharing, go to the URL. If you can’t remember the URL, right click on your file or folder in your Dropbox folder, and click “Get link” again. If your file or folder is currently being shared in this way, the URL will be the same. To remove the link, click the settings button (the little cog icon), and select “Remove link”.

Once the link is removed, anyone who follows the now-disabled link will get a webpage that displays this image.

If you want to re-enable the link, just go through the process again, and a new URL will be generated.

Interestingly, this new feature only works in folders that are something other than the Public or Photo folder. The files and folders inside the Public and Photo folder still work the same way they always have.

Why use “Get link”?

  1. You don’t have to disrupt your file structure to share files.
  2. You can turn on and off file sharing without moving files.
  3. Sharing an entire folder makes it easy to share a lot of files at once. And you can add or remove files as needed without having to change the link to the folder.

Other Dropbox changes you may have missed

If you use the web version of Dropbox, you can now drag and drop files from your computer to and vice versa.

If someone signs up for Dropbox through your referral, you now get an extra 500 MB of space whether you have an edu email address or not.