Over the years I’ve invested a great deal of time and energy into using Delicious as an online bookmarking tool so that all of my online tools and projects can be accessed from one place. About 3 months ago I learned of a different tool that could be used similarly called Symbaloo. Originally is was a simple bookmarking site but organized differently. Instead of the list of links and descriptions, Symbaloo is organized using tabs that contain tiles of the bookmarks defined by the user.
After its launch, educators from around the world started using the site both personally and with their classes prompting the founders to create and educational version of the service called SymbalooEDU. It’s the same basic service, but now it’s billed as a “Personal Learning Environment” where teachers and students can create bookmarks to resources and sites as well as online projects and share them with classmates and students. The interface is simple but it brings the power of the web to your class. The following video is a testimonial from teachers who are using SymbalooEDU and share some ways that they are using it with their students.
Using Symbaloo as a part of your class encourages students to organize their own work and gives them a digital presence giving you the opportunity to continue conversations around being responsible online. SymbalooEDU is completely free for individual use and can give you and your students another online tool that can be used in this digital age. One example of a powerful use for Symbaloo is to use it as an online portfolio where students collect their work and can share it to show their learning over time. Instead of simply bookmarks, students publish their work online and then keep the links in a tab. These could be used to show growth, for parent-teacher conferences, or even for class presentations as students share their learning with each other.