Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tried and True, SymbalooEdu!

Shelley Breivogel and Kimber Scarlett work together on the second grade team at Scott Elementary School in Evansville, Indiana. Kimber and Shelley were featured on the first Educator Spotlight for Symbaloo this year and both are Symbaloo Certified. 

   
 You can find their team Symbaloo at http://tiger2.symbaloo.com.

As part of a team of second grade teachers, we began exploring online tools to help organize our resources according to our curriculum map. The problem we encountered was not having a logical way to keep track of the links and documents we were using, nor did we have a convenient way to share these resources.  It didn't take long to realize we needed help.

At that point, we started searching for an online tool. That's when we found SymbalooEdu.  Why did we go with SymbalooEdu? We had specific criteria when selecting the tool of choice, and SymbalooEdu met those criteria.

Cost: You can sign up for free. Plus, there is no advertising!

Easy:  Registration involves providing an email address and password. Once registered, you have instant access to SymbalooEdu.

Ready Made: SymbalooEDU accounts come with preset educational webmixes preinstalled that are continuously updated with the latest and greatest educational sites recommended by their Symbaloo Certified educators.

Organized: Each webmix you create becomes a showcase for your links. You can build as many as you like!

Uses: Each tile on a webmix can be used to:
  • Link a favorite website
  • Embed a slideshow, video, flipchart, or picture
  • Embed a Google Document
Sharing: You can share webmixes you create, or you can search the Symbaloo Gallery for webmixes to add to your own personal learning environment.

Personalize: You have the option to add your own graphics to your tiles or to the backgrounds of the webmixes you build.

Time: With one click, you can go anywhere on the web!  Best of all, you can set SymbalooEdu as your homepage.

Mobile: There is a free mobile app! All your favorite links will be at your fingertips wherever you go!

Everyone: Anyone can use Symbaloo. Your students will benefit by using the webmixes you create.  Your students can also create their own webmixes for school projects.

How we use SymbalooEdu:
We started by creating a homepage. This webmix includes all the internet links to sites we use daily.

Teacher Homepage
We use our curriculum map to organize all our teaching resources by month. (Videos, Flipcharts, Teaching Resources, Google Docs)

Teacher Resources for January
The Symbaloo Gallery offers many useful webmixes you can add to your own personal learning environment. 

Common Core Resources
Webmixes can be created based on teaching units.

Teaching Resources for Flat Stanley
We use our curriculum map to create monthly, student webmixes. Every link is a free online activity or game that we specifically select based on the standards we are teaching for the month. Students use the activities to reinforce the skills we are currently teaching. They have access to the webmix at school, home, and from any mobile device they own.

Student Activities for January
Parents love the student webmixes!

     
We have also created a webmix specifically for parents. This webmix includes links to the student gradebook, school website, teaching programs used, and parent-help sites.

Parent Resources

As you can see, SymbalooEdu is very visually attractive, and is great for customizing, organizing, and sharing resources!  SymbalooEdu also allows educators to manage their personal learning environment with great ease.

The Challenge:
Go to www.symbalooedu.com and create your free SymbalooEdu account today!



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