Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quickpost: Symbaloo

As teachers, we find cool websites with great activities, videos, or information on a regular basis. We bookmark them for later and.....never see them again. It's time for this to change. Chances are, if you are at the forefront of the technology train you already know what Symbaloo is. If you're like me and you lag a little behind, this post is for you (and especially for my mother, who has been frustrated by this issue).

Now, I jumped on the pinterest bandwagon a couple months ago. However, I now find that like my bookmarks, it has become too full, I need to rearrange and create new categories and the pages get long. I do, however, like the visuals that help guide me in finding the sites/information I need. Symbaloo is the perfect marriage between pinterest and bookmarking.

In symbaloo, you can customize your "buttons." For example, you can select photos which are meaningful and will help you recognize what you're looking for. Also, the webpage doesn't need a picture to create a button (a serious downside to pinterest as I have tried pinning many unpinnable pages - and it's a lot of work to manually create my own pin). Buttons can also be color-coded. For example, I could color all professional organization webpages green, or have literacy links in pink.

If I have too many links, I can create tabs called webmixes (which are like folders in bookmarking or boards in pinning) and have specific sets of links. I can even create buttons on my homepage that forward me to different webmixes (if I have a lot and don't want to scroll through them all). Essentially, it's visually friendly, well-organized, and adaptable. There is even a button I can put in my toolbar so I can create buttons in just the same way I pin or bookmark (right on the webpage I'm at - vs heading back to symbaloo to tediously create something new).

So, if you are looking for a solution to the bookmarking problem, try Symbaloo (which has a separate educator login at www.symbalooedu.com.

Update: You can also create "webmixes" (tabs) which can be shared with students. :)

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