external image Symbaloo_logo_zwart_def.jpg

Focused on SymbalooEdu


Personal Learning Environment (PLE) for teachers to visually organize and share the best of the web with students.

Resources:


Strengths:
  • Free for individual use
  • Comes with free training for the teacher
  • Has a forum for teachers
  • Customizable
  • Allows you to bookmark Slideshares, videos, GoogleDocs, and more that you have created
  • Simple and easy to use and navigate

Weaknesses:
  • Costs money to use in the classroom-$34.99 for one year or $24.99 for two years
  • Overwhelming for younger students
  • Links to web sites not appropriate for younger students

Opportunities:
  • Both teachers and students can share their Symbaloo
  • Allows students to organize websites and tools that they use in the classroom and even outside the classroom
  • Students can share their projects and work they have created on their Symbaloo
  • Teaches students digital literacy skills

Threats:
  • Students placing inappropriate content on their Symbaloo
  • Viewing inappropriate content on others Symbaloo

Ideas for the Classroom:
  • Students can use SymbalooEdu as their electronic portfolio
  • Teachers can provide students with appropriate links for a research project
  • Provide students with websites that will provide them with additional information or help on a specific topic
  • SymbalooEdu can act as your homepage enabling both students and parents to have access to your classroom website (if you have one), recourses, etc. all in one location
  • Can also be used between multiple teachers in the same school to share websites that might be beneficial to all. A great tool for collaboration between colleagues.

Extras:
Explains about Symbaloo and offers a short intro video: http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/symbaloo/
Article on Symbaloo vs. Netvibes and how one class used Symbaloo in the classroom:
http://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/comparing-symbaloo-and-netvibes-as-information-dashboards-and-ples/
Great write up about how Symbaloo is used in a Special Education class:
http://specialeducationtech.com/special-education-tech-news/symbaloo-in-special-ed/

Additional Information about Symbaloo:

Symbaloo makes a great homepage. You can put all of the sites you want to use or that you want your students to use all in one place that is easily accessible. The icons are big and colorful and easy to select what site you want to visit. I use my symbaloo as a personal learning environment (PLE) where I have lots of educational sites that I use for resoources. It allows me to quickly access my bookmarks from anywhere that has an internet connection.
There is also a toolbar available that can be downloaded to your browser screen that makes adding sites to your symbaloo just one click away.

Symbaloo has news threads and up-to-the minute news stories in the headlines that are available at the top in a tab on your page. There is a blog that can be subscribed to where new information about the site can be sent to you through email updates. Another great feature of this site is that it is free from advertisements, which would prevent students from seeing inappropriate content as they are using this site. (Tassie M.)