This website solved two problems for me.
First, as a teacher, I love to look for new and innovative ideas on the Internet. At one time, I had over 150 favorites on my school computer. They were carefully (not) categorized for easy access. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as easy access when using Bookmarks/Favorites. Most sites were bookmarked and then never seen again.
There is a free website called Symbaloo.com that solves this problem. This is the home page. You can see there is a grid and each square is the button that will take the user directly to the linked website. The user can organize their bookmarks by creating specific grids for each category. For example, mine include Educational Review Games and My Favorite Blogs. In about 20 minutes, my 150 bookmarks were converted to easily scanned links/buttons/tiles organized by category.
Second, I love to use technology in the classroom, but getting the whole class to the same webpage at the same time is difficult at any grade, but really a challenge in the second grade. Using Symbaloo, I can create a “webmix” that has the sites that we use, link it to my blog page, and all the students can access every site that we use by logging into our classroom blog.
Here is an example of one I created for my blog. There is a share option that I used to put a link on my blog, so that my students could review at home.
Symbaloo is very simple to use. Once you have registered (free), select a website you would like to save and capture its URL. Go to your Symbaloo and click on a blank tile.
Click on Create a Tile.
Where it says add the address of the http://, paste in the url of your website.
Type in a title, but often the title of the webpage will automatically be entered. Be sure and check “show text.”
Next, either use the icon that is sometimes uploaded with the text, or select and icon or color from the choices in Symbaloo.
Hit save and the link will be inserted into the grid.
There are many other useful tools available on the Symbaloo site and a premium option that comes with training and more extensive tools, but that is another post for another day. Using Symbaloo has been game changing for me as a teacher. I use it every day, whether I am saving the link to an interesting blog that I don’t have time to read, or saving a link to use in a lesson the next day. It really is one of those sites, I consider indispensable.