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Symbaloo EDU and Weblist: Sharing the web with students

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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!

Tips: Don’t forget that both Symbaloo and Weblist make for a great way to share online resources with your colleagues!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Symbaloo EDU and Weblist in your classroom!

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26 Comments

  1. As always thanks for sharing. I have checked out Symbaloo and it is really simply cool! Looks like Weblist is on my list today as well as a few more tools to explore. The organization idea with folders is great to keep students on track!

  2. Thanks for the great post about SymbalooEDU. We are so happy to have the support of so many educators and without the posts like this our efforts would not be known or noticed. FYI, we are giving free custom classroom packages for a limited time if interested send us an email at edu@symbaloo.com. Thanks again!

  3. I’ve created webmixes for the staff at my school – to be used as the internet homepage – to give them easy access to oft used sites and more importantly some great web 2.0 tools they might otherwise not come across.

    I’ve created one for pps in response to their interest in the staff one.

    Check out this one for all teachers: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/tools4teachers

  4. Thanks for sharing! I love the idea of combining the 2. I have been talking with someone from Symbaloo on Twitter, and I plan to learn more from him and talk about it in my blog, too. It’s great to find out that you like it. Have you been happy with all of the free content on Symbaloo? I know most of us don’t have much of a budget…and it looks like some features cost money. Thanks again for sharing. I learn so much from your posts. 🙂

  5. @Peggy, thanks for the comment! Yes, I have been happy with what is provided for free in Symbaloo. For my purposes, I found the free version comprehensive enough to do everything I wanted. I can see how whole school districts who use it would want the subscription version.

  6. I tagged this comment a while ago, but just started setting up my Symbaloo Websharing today. I love it. I have spent most of the day adding my own custom icons and stuff. I will definitely share it here when I am finished.

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  8. Just wanted to add that I was able to receive the free Custom Classroom Package that was advertised on here and Symbaloo was giving away last October. Fast forward to 12 months later and they now want me to pay for it. Very very disappointing. Very disappointing!

  9. My teachers use these to create Symbaloo boards that allow kids to click on the links in center activities. Many of them color code so the students know which color (Language Arts – Red, Math – blue) they should click on. Also, the younger students like the pictures and know which sites to go to. Also, we use them for research projects. I have created one for Creative Commons and Copyright to use with students researching. Check it out at -http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/freesourcesites

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