Symbaloo Logo
I came across the Symbaloo website last year, poked around, and though it was interesting enough to play with but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to use it.  This year, I went back to it and started using it a lot more heavily – and now I’m addicted!  Symbaloo is a pretty simple concept.  At the heart of it, it’s a simple online bookmarking site that lets you save and access your bookmarks from anywhere.  There are a lot of bookmarking sites out there already, such as Diigo and Delicious, but Symbaloo stands out by being a more visual site.

Instead of just a list of links, Symblaoo lets you create a colorful tile for each of your links, and arrange them in a grid, called a webmix.  When you enter a URL into the tile creation tool, Symbaloo checks the link for validity and then creates a tile for it.  If possible, it tries to pull the site graphic for the tile, but you can also choose from a list of icons for your tiles, or upload your own image.  You can select the colors you want, and also if you want the name of the site on the tile or not.  Once you have created your tile, you simply drag and drop it onto your grid wherever you want.

You can create as many webmixes as you want.  Once you have created a webmix, you have the option to share it with others.  You can keep it private and share only with friends, or you can share publicly with anyone on the web.  Symbaloo gives you the option to share the link, or to embed your webmix in another site.  You can also search for premade webmixes and tiles to add to your Symbaloo gallery.

For years, I’ve been using a similar concept on Tech or Teachers – a visual grid of icons linked to the sites my kids use.  It worked fine, but was very time consuming to create, as I had to screenshot the site logo, crop it down, upload it, and then add the image code to my site.  Doable, but it was time I could better spend elsewhere.  Now I’m using embedded Symbaloo webmixes for my grade level pages instead of coding it all by hand.  It’s an immense time saver, and also looks great!  How are you going to use Symbaloo in your class?  How can you have your students use it?


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