I’ve shared before how I use Symbaloo as a startup page for my computers. Rather than using bookmarks, I like the graphical approach that it offers to get to places I frequent daily. Very quickly. Symbaloo also allows you to share your webmix with others and you can grab what others are sharing and add as a tab to your own instance. So, my desktop browsers startup and I’m presented with:
This is my own information portal. It’s very personal and friendly and gets me to where I want to be. I’ve created my own tabs and borrowed some others that folks have shared.
Yesterday, Symbaloo released an iOS / Android application that truly lets you take it all with you. The key, as with so many cloudy things is to create an account and access it via your device wherever you happen to need it. When I read about the release, I snagged it immediately to check it out. It’s an iPod application so it works nicely there. The 2X button fills the iPad screen and you’re presented with this:
Hopefully, there is a native iPad application in the works. It would be nice to get all the tile appearing on the screen at once. But, functionally, it’s all there. Tap a tile and the destination website appears inside a Symbaloo window and you’re live. The tabs are there to use as well so you’ve got that great feature as well.
At the bottom of the screen, you can share your webmix, search for others, or just share with friends.
So, in terms of my own productivity, I really like this. But, it doesn’t stop there.
At one time, I maintained a Student Reference Portal on a website. It’s deprecated now but times are changing. The concept of the portal was to have students access it and click through to resources that I’ve hand picked for a specific purpose. That avoids spelling mistakes and ending up on the wrong resource. Students just click and they’re there. Now, with the mobile application, they can just tap and they’re there.
With the advent of 1:1 iPad / iPod / iPhone / Android / Mobile / BYO# programs, I see Symbaloo as offering an excellent resource. It will take a bit of work but you could set up your class information portal using Symbaloo in just the same way. Have a default page for commonly used applications like advanced search, Creative Commons images, etc. Then, create a tab for each subject area with the resources you want your student to access. Getting to the resources is just as simple as directing students to the “Math” tab and then the appropriate tile. What could be easier and more helpful to classroom navigation management?
For a myriad of reasons, it’s worth the time to download the new mobile application, create yourself a Symbaloo account, add some tiles / tabs and check it out.