What it is: Sharing the web with students can be a challenge. Websites can often have urls that feel unending, students can copy down a url incorrectly, students type with different speeds, or characters show up in the address that they are unfamiliar with. Complicated urls can single-handedly convince teachers to ditch a wonderful web resource for something easier to manage…like a worksheet. Sharing websites with your students doesn’t have to be a challenge. Symbaloo EDU and Weblist are two of my favorite ways to quickly and easily share websites with students.
Symbaloo EDU is fabulous because it was created with educators in mind. Symbaloo lets you gather all of your favorite online tools and sites into a webmix about the topics you teach. Symbaloo web mixes can be published and shared with colleagues, students, and parents. Symbaloo can be used by students or teachers to create a personal learning environment. With Symbaloo folders can be created that contain sites and resources that are related. Symbaloo can be used year-long, just continue adding sites and resources for your students throughout the year. Everything that you have used all year-long will be in one easy place for students to access.
Weblist lets you pull together and organize content on the web. Create a list of urls centered on a theme and it is combined into one easy to navigate url. The list can be saved as a bookmark or a homepage. What I like about Weblist is the visual aspect. Each website is saved as a snapshot of that website with the website name and a description below. The visual organization is perfect for younger students who may not be able to navigate links designated by text.
How to integrate Symbaloo EDU and Weblist into your curriculum: Symbaloo can be used by students to create their own “textbooks”. As students search the web for resources based on subjects or inquiry questions, they can save what they find and create a virtual e-book of sorts. Symbaloo can also be used by students to organize all of their online work in one place. Students can add links to the slide shows, documents, videos, images, etc. that they create online. Symbaloo becomes an e-portfolio. Teachers can also use Symbaloo to create a customized “textbook” for their students complete with articles, maps, video, images, and interactive content.
Weblist is great for quickly sharing a collection of sites with students. Weblists are fast and easy to create (you don’t even have to login or register first!). Weblists are perfect for sharing a collection of sites in a computer lab setting or with colleagues. The visual interface of Weblist is perfect for students. Students can easily travel from one site to another because the web page is embedded in the Weblist, the url never changes.
Want to get really crazy? Combine Symbaloo and Weblist. Create folders for your students on Symbaloo so that there is one central url to go to. Have Symbaloo link to your various Weblists. This combines the great organization and collaboration aspect of Symbaloo with the awesome visual interface of Weblist. It is a powerhouse of learning for your students created by you. Cool!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Symbaloo EDU and Weblist in your classroom!