Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 10--Symbaloo











Do you like things organized in a visual manner? Do you like things color-coded? WOW! Do I have the tool for you! Introducing Symbaloo!


Symbaloo is a Greek verb that stands for "assembling." Using this Web 2.0 tool, you can bring together favorite websites, bookmarks, and commonly used applications. You can color code your tiles, arrange them any way you like, and link your Symbaloo page to other Symbaloo pages. If you are really feeling creative, you can even change the background image to match your theme or mood.


The box in the middle allows you to do a Google search, check Facebook news feed, the weather, and latest
videos on YouTube. Many other widgets are available in a tab at the top.


Once you register with Symbaloo, you have the ability to search other webmixes and link them directly to your page. Make sure you register with an EDU account to receive maximum educator links. With this account, you will be given a tab with EDU teacher links, Ed Tech links, & RSS feeds to common educator sites.

Each tile is a link that is a visual representation of the website/tool/application. For a visual learner like myself, I am in love with this type of visual organization. Symbaloo makes a great homepage with ease of navigating and organizing your favorite sites. This allows easy access to your favorites. You can group things together and decide where all the tiles will fit on your gride.

It would help students keep their bookmarks and projects all together --just a few clicks away.

There are mutterings that Symbaloo is going to integrate with Google Maps, a contact manager, a live TV guide, and a screen-sharing app.

Symbaloo is a free web-based application and is safe for students to use.

Resources:
An 11 year old's take on Symbaloo (VERY cute!)

Educator Testimonials:

Your assignment:
Take a tour! Click a few tabs! Try to move stuff around. Play with every button and tab you see. Now, what could you and your students do with this tool? How would it help your visual learners? How could it organize and simplify the web for some of your special education students? How could it make your life easier as a teacher to have all your links in one spot? Could you see this as a viable tool for students to use as an engaging place to keep their thoughts and search finds in one place? Comment below about how this tool might transform the internet homepage and your students' learning.

34 comments:

  1. I actually stumbled upon Symbaloo this summer and started playing with it. Since then, I've come to depend on it quite a bit and use it as my home page for school. The great thing about it is the ability to move things around easily and to have access to your most important/favorite bookmarks anywhere you have internet access. The ability to color code the links is also a nice touch. I plan on introducing Symbaloo to my upper grades (4-6) later this semester. Bookmarks in Firefox and favorites in Internet Explorer can get kind of crowded and disorganized. Symbaloo is a great way to keep your favorite links organized and in a central location accessible from any online computer.

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  2. Symbaloo seems like the perfect way to organize all my bookmarks and color code them too! This is an organizer's dream.

    I could see using this for many things. It could update an everyday WebQuest into something more. Now I can direct the students to a pre-made Symbaloo and then they can explore the different webpages at their own pace. I could have several websites for each topic and have them grouped and color coded. Oh, the possibilities!

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  3. I'm always looking for places to create digital playgrounds for kids to explore. The nice thing about Symbaloo is that it allows for creating different areas of exploration within the larger playground. I could imagine creating a symbaloo around a unit and returning to different parts of the playground over the course of the unit.

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  4. I can definitely see a use for this to give my kids the sites I want them to explore, and we are such visual learners, it will help them to see where they are going. I really like the idea to give them a unit created on symbaloo to explore.

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  5. I'm not a very visual person, so I don't really use something like Symbaloo...I'm more of a bookmarker/tagger that I can search for in my folders.
    But, as we're teaching digital tools to younger ages, this is a GREAT tool for organizing because you can color code different resources and help them learn different organizational strategies. It's also great that things can be easily rearranged, so you can have discussions about WHY we put things in certain places, but that doesn't mean they only fit in ONE place.

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  6. My general music classes research various websites where they can legally download or listen to music. This would be a great way to organize the bookmarks to those sites. I am thinking we could color code the links to organize them by type of site (streaming, downloads, peer to peer), age limitations (13+ or 18+), etc. This would make it simple for the students to figure out which types of sites are their best options for obtaining digital music legally.

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  7. Looks interesting but seems like just having folders on my desktop that I have already set up that contain shortcuts to web sites that I use frequently.

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  8. Everyone always comments on how many icons I have on my homepage...it is a hot mess, I agree. Some of the icons could be better placed on my symbaloo homepage, now. For students, I like the color-coding. It would be nice to be able to locate all the websites that they are asked to access in a days time in one place.

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  9. This is SO cool! I think that this would be a great tool for my students to use to color code with different sites that they use for every class. Math sites are one color, social studies is another color. Then you have Sciece and so on. This is a great way to help keep some students organized and better prepaired for class!

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  10. I love this tool. It's a great way to organize all of those websites you visit frequently. I could definitely see where this would help my students who need to see a visual of where they are going. Some of my students have a hard time remembering how to get to certain webpages we use almost daily. I currently use a sqworl page, but that requires them to remember the url numbers. If I could help them set up a Symbaloo homepage, I would set up the sqworl from there. That would make accessing it a lot easier. This is going to be a great way to help clean up my favorites bar!

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  11. OK, that is very convenient! I use my bookmarks on my toolbar and my google search toolbar very often. Having everything in one location with a personal touch is great. I have now started to create one for school. Who am I kidding, it will be the one I use at home too! It can make a world of difference in a small classroom computer station for learning centers. Changing websites couldn't be easier for younger students and special education students.

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  12. I am a color organizer freak! Now I can even color code my desktop that is jammed packed and finally make some sense of my bookmarks. Our students do not have netbooks or other 1 to 1 tools yet so I do not see this being much of a service for them. However, I am the tech. coordinator for the building and can see organizing the lab via color code for the grade levels or subjects.

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  13. I definitely need to set up a webmix with the educational sites I use everyday. Right now I have some under favorites, some saved in an email file, some I just have to type in the web address each and every time I go to that site. So this is a perfect tool for me to use. I like the ease of creating my own tile as it allows me to use my creativity and "artistic talents."

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  14. I like what Tim said, because right now I use LiveBinders to create cool playgrounds, but Symbaloo (which I am very excited about because I never heard of it before today) would allow students (or me) to see exactly what the sites are before clicking. I also like this for my homepage (I have already changed mine) because there are sites i like to have immediate and easy access to, and this tool is awesome for that! it has more spaces than I currently have favorite sites for, but they i have room to expand. It would be a great way to compile cultural resources that I can share with teachers, and/or a way for kids to compile that type of research for an assignment. I could see teachers changing the homepage to a variety of webpages dealing with a certain content that will be the topic of a unit and having students go in every day when the homepage comes up and give them a daily task to do. Lots of possibilities!!

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  15. I could see myself using this personally just to have a place to check in each day I open my browser.

    For students, it would be great to share a page with links, blogs, and info about something they are learning or researching. I think this would be much more engaging for students than just giving them web links. It's great that the teacher can help focus students to specific places where they can go.

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  16. That is soooooo cool!!!! I have so many different things going on and this looks like a quick and easy way to find my stuff. Awesome and looks easy to use.

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  17. I like all visual organizers, it makes it easy to navigate and it is intuitive. It is so easy an 11 year old can not only use it, but explain it.

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  18. I LOOOOOVE organization! This is great! I think given the freedom of the internet can be a bit overwhelming for some. Having what you need all in one place simplifies things. It would be nice to have categories for different classes. Each teacher could assign a color, keeping everything for that class in one spot. Love this! :)

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  19. My immediate thought was toward my visual learners. A lof of people do better when it's not oraganized in a line method such as when you bookmark things. This is a neat tool, especially if you use a lot or want to share a lot of web pages or applicaitons.

    I like Miss Lawson's idea of each teacher assigning a color! It would work great for lower levels also by placing each subject in its own color. As for high school, it would be hard to communicate between all the teachers who uses which color. I would direct my kids just to make sure links/ apps for my class are different from their other links.

    This could also be a good tool for students writing research papers. It would be easy to share with the teacher directly what sites the student used to back up their thoughts and research findings.

    I could use this by posting helpful study sites, interesting news sites, and other fun things about Japan.

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  20. This here would help me organize things by subject and period. I am always searching for a specific video or example and wasting time I could be doing something else! Would love to have things organized for me in a quick and colorful way!

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  21. This is a pretty fun way to organize favorite websites. This would be a great way to keep all of the sites I use on a daily basis organized. The best part is that it offers the option to color code the tabs. This would also be a great way to get my students organized. There are so many different educational sites that I and other teachers use and with this site the students can put all of those sites in one place and color code by teacher.

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  22. Oh this one is right up my alley! An organizational tool that allows me to color code, group like items together and arrange it the way my mind needs it to be all in one! This is amazing. I can see this being a great tool to use with those students who are visual learners. I can also see where teachers could use this with those kids that need some extra support with their organizational skills in general.

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  23. I am an organizational junky...I really like the way that this program organizes and provides common links to tools that I will use. I was able to search other webmixes and find a webmix for my daughter for to help her with her math. I am currently working to create a webmix for my anatomy and biology classes. I like how Tim presents it, I want to create a "digital playground" for my students to visit when they finish work early or have down time.

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  24. I could definitely see this working for me personally. I could organize my "stuff" by category: school, kids, recipes, etc.I think this would also be great for the kids to separate websites the way they are used to seeing it on their iPads. We could have sites for specific subject areas or even topics.

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  25. This is my favorite tool thus far. I can not wait until I have time to organize it. I will definitely use it in my computer station. I have also made it my homepage. I find so many good sites, but soon forget about them because they are lost in my bookmarks. I will be making a tab for interactive sites that can be used with the Promethean Board.

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  26. Neat way to organize the sites frequently visited. I think students could also use Symbaloo to organize their frequently visited sites. I could actually fix up a page of math resource sites for students.

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  27. Anything that uses color coding has a special place in my heart :). This looks really neat and I can see the kiddos really enjoying this. I can't wait to try it out with them.

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  28. I love the color coding and the organization. I have not organized my bookmarks, just add them to the list and then never able to find them. Love this one

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  29. Symbaloo is amazing and my students will love it. It is so frustrating when I am trying to find a specific site to show the kids and can't find it in my long list of bookmarks. I like the color coding as well, but I really like the idea of organizing by topics. Fun!

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  30. This is a great organizational tool for students that I work with. What a great tool!

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  31. I would love it if all my students had this, so they could easily access the resources we were working with that day, week, or unit.

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  32. It would be beneficial for some of my students. I have quite a few students who are visual and like being organized. It would be neat for students to be able to edit and add resources that they may find useful for others to use. I could pull together resources for those students that need extra help and/or instruction.

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  33. I learned about Symbaloo at the ICE conference this year and have used it as a homepage since. It reminds me a lot of the Top Sites tab in Safari, but is much easier and complete in setup. I would like to expand my use of it into my role as Technology Coordinator by creating a Symbaloo to have as a homepage on all the computer lab computers, our netbooks, and the iPads. Doing this, we could have frequently used sites such as Acuity, Education City, Google Maps, Goolgle Apps, SchoolTube/ YouTube and many others we use at a quick click fro the students, saving on instruction/ setup time. Creating these on an organized page will also hopefully keep web surfing to a controlled and easily monitored event.

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  34. What a great tool that I can try at home with my own kids. They can have a list of "approved" websites right in front of them for homework time.

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