Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tech Tools: Symbaloo



One of my favorite ways to bookmark, organize, and share websites is with Symbaloo. This website allows you to create visually appealing tiles to link to other websites. I have found Symbaloo to be extremely useful on our school website and on my own website. I have also found it useful for organizing sites that I frequent personally and for creating lesson resources.


How It Works:

After opening a free Symbaloo account, you can create your first webmix. You are given the option to create your own, or to type in the type of webmix that you are looking for. Using the second option, you could just add a pre-made public webmix to your Symbaloo account. For example, if you type in "research" and find a research webmix created by someone else that you like, you can just choose to view it and add it to your account. Symbaloo also has a Symbaloo Education version, which is loaded with pre-made educational webmixes.

If you're creating your own Symbaloo, give your webmix a title and get started choosing the sites that you want organized on the particular webmix. I have a number of different Symbaloo webmixes set up that I use to share different information with students or teachers.

When adding sites, you type in the website address, choose or upload an image, and color background and then save it to your webmix. Often, the logo of the website you are linking will pop up when you type in the website, allowing you to easily add the image to your tile. Many popular educational websites are pre-loaded and will populate as you begin typing them. You can also search for tiles by category or title.

A Symbaloo for students
A great thing about Symbaloo is that it is very easy to go back and edit the tiles. To re-arrange the order, just drag the tile to the new space. To add more or less spaces, just use the arrows provided. Symbaloo has a share button that makes it easy to share the link to your Symbaloo or embed it on your website. If you later update the Symbaloo, you can just click on 'Update my Webmix' and your embedded Symbaloo will automatically update on your website.




Suggestions for Ways to Use Symbaloo at School:

Our 'Research Sites' Symbaloo
The way that I use Symbaloo the most is to share websites with our school community. I have created a Symbaloo directed towards students, one towards teachers, one for our Makerspace, and one for research lessons, to name a few. Each of these different Symbaloos has useful links for that group or subject. Within a Symbaloo, I also have color coded the tiles to help organize similar sites.

I also created a Symbaloo for our school website with each of the teacher's class websites linked to it. I used the icons/stickers provided by Symbaloo to showcase which subject that class is and color coded tiles of teachers who teach the same subject.

The other way I use Symbaloo is to bookmark sites that I like or that I use frequently. You can set Symbaloo as your homepage and customize the background to your choosing. This makes it really easy to quickly find the sites that I use daily.
A Symbaloo linking to class websites

I have also seen teachers create a different Symbaloo webmix for each grade or subject that they teach and embed them on their website for students to easily access links at home.

Though I have not had students do this, students could easily create their own Symbaloo webmixes of sites that they use frequently at school to access quickly at home as well. Note: If you purchase a premium account through SymbalooEdu, then you have more control over what sites your students link to and see.



If you have other ideas or suggestions for how you've used Symbaloo to organize information for your school or classroom, please share!



This week I'm linking up with The Teaching Trio for the Technology Thursday Link Up!







6 comments:

  1. I love, love, love Symbaloo. I have all of my hundreds of Science links saved on Symabloo boards. It took me a little bit to get them organized, but once I did it...I was so thankful I spent the time on it. Thanks for sharing!
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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    1. Glad to see there's another Symbaloo fan out there! Keeping useful websites organized through Symbaloo has been such a time saver for me in the long run! Thanks for the feedback.

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  2. This is great! I especially love that there are premade Symbaloos if you need one. This is an awesome way to keep students organized and on track.

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    1. Thanks! It really does make it easier to organize your classroom for students and parents!

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  3. Symbaloo looks really awesome! I'm off to set up an account :)

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    1. Great! I hope you like it as much as I do!

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