Since being introduced to Symbaloo in 2010 at a Michigan Council of Teachers of English conference, I’ve had a webmix set as my homepage on almost every device I own. They look cool, and are a great way to collect and organize bookmarks online.
Late in this past trimester, I witnessed the time and trouble that many teachers – and myself – went through explaining to students where the link to a certain website was, or where it had been moved to. In addition to our “Student Utilities”, the TCAPS website also has numerous resources listed as “safe” for students, but includes many broken links and repeat entries.
Symbaloo (or most any online bookmark host) allowed me to take each of those links and place them in a “webmix” grid, where all resources can be accessed, even edited, on-the-fly. I felt this could be a great solution to part of the start-of-class time-sink we’ve experienced on test days or during Math Club “data collection” days. It didn’t take terribly long for me to set up (though a few of the initial options needed fixing, as I added tiles, so it took longer than it perhaps should have), and if you have an account with Symbaloo, you can import the webmix to your own account and edit it as you please. Without further ado, here it is: Traverse City Central Elementary School Symbaloo webmix
While it’s still a bit rough around the edges, all of the resources we’ve used this year are on it, and are labeled according to content area (ELA for English Language Arts, SCI for Science, SOC for Social Studies, MTH for Mathematics, and so on). The website can be accessed from any operating system, using any browser, on any device (including mobile phones and tablets)! There are even iOS Apps out there for Symbaloo.
I hope this is of some use to the Traverse City Central Elementary School students and staff with whom I’ve worked these past few months. If anybody has some suggestions for sites to add, remove, or fix, or any other ways to improve its presentation, please feel free to leave a comment. Thank you for a wonderful school year, and I hope you all have a fantastic summer break!