A Great Symbaloo Mix

It’s not secret that I’m a real fan of Symbaloo.  I’ve talked about it before and have a number of webmixes tied to my account.  My only challenge is writing about it and making sure that I spell it correctly.  Two Ls or Two Os?

At times, I’ll explore the public webmixes for a number of reasons.  I might add it to my own in a new tab or I’ll use it as an answer when someone asks “Can you recommend something for this…?”  I like to encourage others to create their own.  In the classroom, it’s a very functional and engaging way to direct students to appropriate and pre-selected resources.

For the well connected educator, it’s a great one stop portal to all of the things that might be happening in your classroom.  You know – your wiki, your blog, student blogs, homework helper, YouTube page, …  Anything that transports the class to where they need to be with a single click is great.

During my recent search, I came across this webmix.  http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/computerlab4  It’s a collection of lab links for Oak Grove and Valley View”

Updated this summer, you can be relatively assured that all of the links are active.

For some, this may be too much on a single screen.  For others, it might be just perfect since you’ll be directing students to one particular button during the lesson.  It’s also a good answer to the parent question “What are some websites we could use at home with our child?”

Symbaloo is free; there is an educational version here; there’s an iOS version and an Android version.

There really aren’t any excuses to give it a try!


Symbaloo – Before and After

It was just a week ago that I blogged about Symbaloo and webmixes.  I have Symbaloo set as the start page for my computers.  I have tried a number of like utilities in the past and, with the retirement of iGoogle, have found it indispensible as a portal to the places that I want to go.  I absolutely think it’s the best place for me to start.

As I opened my computer this morning to wake it from sleep, I checked my email to read that there was an opportunity to take a preview look at what Symbaloo is going to look like when we all get migrated to the new interface in April.  How could I not take the opportunity.

As I said yes, a new tab opened with a dialogue to let me choose the new interface.  Yes, I said.

At that moment, I had a very unique opportunity.  Since the new layout opened a new tab, I actually had both the old layout and the new layout sitting there in front of me in adjacent tabs.  Does that scream “blog post”?  I just had to take a couple of screen shots and away I go.

Here’s my original Symbaloo layout.  It’s still as good looking and as functional as ever.

Right next door, I have the new layout.  There are a slew of new icons that I’ll probably get around to exploring at some time but my first blush had me looking at the functionality.  There were no immediate changes available in the preferences but the screen presentation was noticeably different.

On the left side, a pull down menu gives access to my webmixes.  I have a modest collection because previously the only way to get to one was to scroll through the names at the top of the screen.  Here heading directly to a webmix looks like it’s going to be very quick.  I can see myself starting to add webmixes and maybe even curate a few more of my own.

Speaking of webmixes, check out the ways that you may now edit a webmix.

Searching for new material is going to be easier now.  You now have more control over just what it is that you’re searching for.  This is going to be nice.

I’m really liking the new presentation.  I think it’s a nice step forward for the product.  However, there’s this nagging feeling after reading the announce and seeing point number five.

5. Symbaloo secrets
There’s more… Did you already discovered something new?

That’s a challenge for a guy like me.  Got to continue to dig.

At this point in time, the iPad version of Symbaloo has not been updated.  However, the web version looks very nice and hopefully there’s an upgrade for mobile shortly.  For educators, this is such a valuable tool to make sure that students all launch and end up in the right place.

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Having it all

I’ve mentioned before that I use Symbaloo as one of the start tabs on my computers.  It’s a great way to have links to a lot of resources.  Here’s one of my home pages.  If you care to, go ahead and psycho analyze my browsing habits!

These webmixes can be created and shared with others, if you wish.  The nice thing about finding a great one is that it reflects a great deal of curating that someone has done on a particular topic.  Add their efforts to your Symbaloo account and you’re enjoying the benefits of their work.

It’s almost like a super Google or Bing search where every result is relevant!

Where would you find a need for something like this?

Well, let’s say you wanted a collection of resources for the iPad.

Just enter a search….

and sit back to enjoy the results.  Here was one webmix that provided some interesting new resources to explore.

Recently, I was showing a friend Ubuntu and demonstrated how the same principle can be applied there to grab Ubuntu resources.

When you are able to cobble together resources on a theme, it’s a powerful way to put them all together in one spot.

As a launch pad for students, just consider how easy it is to describe a button and have the student click on it and they’re there!

Don’t forget also that Symbaloo has an iOS application as well! Download it from here.  And there’s an educational program.  Could you ask for more?

Check out the top 10 most popular educational webmixes here.

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