Day 25: Symbaloo
Webmixes for Organizing Links
Managing links to all your favorite sites is a huge challenge. Especially if you are a self-diagnosed e-hoarder like me. One of the tools I use to organize my many site links is Symbaloo.
Symbaloo lets you create custom grids, called a webmix, of links. See my webmix for Open Educational Resources (OER) and Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math (STEM) links below. (If the embed code doesn’t work, follow the link.)
I created this webmix to use when I do workshops on OER and STEM resources. It is easier to share my webmix instead of a static list of links. With Symbaloo, I can update my list or add links and anyone with access to the webmix sees my updates. With your free account, you can create unlimited webmixes. You can keep them private or share them publically.
If this was all Sybaloo did, it would still be a great tool for organizing. Fortunately for us educators, Symbaloo has expanded into SymbalooEDU
SymbalooEDu is the educator facing version of Symabloo. With SymablooEDU you can create and share webmixes as well as develop Learning Paths for your students and engage in professional development opportunities for you.
The newest addition to the Symbaloo family is Learning Paths. Symbaloo Learning Paths allows you to use the grid format of Symbaloo to create interactive lesson plans. Think of it as creating a game board of learning for your students. Below is an example of a learning path. Each symbol on the grid represents an action for your students. As students move through the path, they engage with new information, watch videos, explore websites, and take quizzes to check for understanding. Your paths can branch and loop to provide a personalized learning experience for your students.
Finding and Creating Learning Paths
With Symbaloo Learning Paths, you can create your own path from scratch or you can search through the Learning Path Marketplace to find a standards-aligned path created by the Symbaloo community of educators. If you find a path you want to use, copy it into your library. From your library, you can assign it to your students or modify the path to make it your own.
Monitoring Student Learning
When your Learning Path is ready, assign it to your students using the assignment code or push it out through Google Classroom, a QR code, or social media channels. Once the path has been assigned, you can track students’ progress. See where each student is on the path and how much time they have spent engaged in the assignments. You can also see the average score for your class and individual student results.
Symbaloo has created resources to help you learn how to use Learning Paths in your classroom. First off, I have to say that the Learning Path creator and Marketplace are very easy to use. You can log in and get started with little training or support. However, if you are interested in adding some certifications to your professional toolbelt, SymbalooEDU has a certification program. The basic certification program is only $10 and you learn how to make the most out of the SymbalooEDU tools. There is also the PD level of certification that adds a few more perks including being eligible for the PD pro program.
If certification is not for you, you can still participate in Symabloo’s webinars to learn how to use the tools. You can even connect with the community of educators by joining the Edmodo Group.
Symbaloo and SymablooEDU have a lot to offer educators. From getting organized to creating a personalized learning environment for your students, the Symbaloo tools are an excellent addition to your ed tech toolbox.