Symbaloo: A Tool for Paperless Teaching

As a longtime follower of Corkboard Connections, I am honored to share with you today! My name is Kate Peila and I am a third grade teacher from Montana. I blog about technology tips for the classroom over at Purely Paperless.
Do you have a computer center in your classroom? 
Do you take your kids to a computer lab? 
Do you want a quick and easy way to share links with your students? 
Give Symbaloo a try!
Symbaloo is a visual bookmarking tool in which users create a collection of links called a webmix. Each link is represented in the mix by a small square called a tile. Users can customize the color and icons that appear on each tile to make it extremely user-friendly for students.

The webmix included in the image below provides links to some of my favorite game and activity resources on the web. You’ll find some awesome websites, games, ebooks, and videos in this collection:

I have set this webmix up so that each link opens in a separate window or tab. I prefer to use this function with my students so that they can easily close the window and return to the Symbaloo when they have finished with the activity. While I just linked this particular example to the image, you can easily embed the Symbaloo into your classroom blog or website.Interested in creating your own? Here’s a quick tutorial that I created to help you get started making a mix in minutes!

Once you have created an account, you can create several different mixes. Each tab across the top of the window is a separate mix. You can share all of these out at different times throughout the year. I have one for each of the units that I teach and reveal them as we go via my classroom website.

If you do not have a classroom blog or website, another easy option is setting your Symbaloo as the home page for each of your classroom computers. When students login to the computers, they are greeted with appropriate activities and links.

Why do I use Symbaloo instead of just sharing links with my kids?
  • I love the visual nature of the tool! It’s easy and inviting for my primary kiddos.
  • When I update the mix from my account, it updates the mixes that I have already embedded in my site for me. Easy peasy!
  • All of the links and resources for each unit are stored in one central location.

If you’d like more tips and tricks for integrating technology into the classroom to enhance instruction and increase your own productivity, swing by my blog, Purely Paperless. Thanks!