In a high tech world with an overwhelming amount of internet resources, it can be easy to forget newly discovered and even old favorite website URLs. If that happens to you or you are looking for a way to help you organize all of those URLs so you have access to them on the go, then Symbaloo might be the tool to fit your needs.
Symbaloo is a free webmix organizational tool that uses colored tiles to help you organize your favorite websites all on one page. Simply open a website, copy the URL and paste it into the tile. Once you create your webmix tiles, you can easily move them around by dragging and dropping them into place.
Design a corner for favorite literacy websites, another for professional development sites, the third for classroom favorites and the fourth for your personal favorites. Or, you can develop multiple webmixes for each subject or topic of interest. Once developed, you have world-wide access from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. All of your information is stored in the cloud and easily shared with friends, colleagues, and/or students with a click of a button.
To get started, simply visit Symbaloo at http://www.symbaloo.com. Take the tour on the homepage to quickly learn how to use this fun tool, and then apply the skills to create your own webmix. Develop custom tiles, use the Google search box, or select favorite websites already embedded into the program to conveniently find the website you are searching for. Drag and drop your tiles to organize them on your webmix home page.
To edit, a simple click of the mouse allows you to rename tiles, change the wallpaper, or change the webmix icons and size. After creating a tile, a right click will allow you to edit or delete it. Once completed, you can publish and share your webmix with others. You can also search the gallery for public webmixes from around the world. You have the ability to filter your search for new webmixes and to explore an endless number of websites to add to your tech savvy tool box.
If after sampling what Symbaloo has to offer, you can check out Symbaloo Edu for a free or premium classroom account. To become Symbaloo certified investigate the Symbaloo Basic, Student or PD certification programs. Give it a shot and I think you’ll find Symbaloo to be a useful too for when you can’t remember that URL.
TILE-SIG will host a special session on Sunday, May 11 at 3:00 p.m. at the International Reading Association 59th Annual Conference in New Orleans. The session includes the presentation of the 2014 Technology in Reading Research Award, "Changing the Landscape of Literacy Teacher Education: Innovations with Generative Technology" with keynote Dana Grisham (National University, TILE-SIG 2013 Reading Research Award Winner), and 18 roundtable discussions about research findings and practical classroom ideas. Visit http://www.iraconference.org to learn more about IRA 2014 or to register.
Mary Beth Scumaci is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the School of Education at Medaille College in Buffalo, New York.
This article is part of a series from the International Reading Association's Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-SIG).