Monday, August 1, 2011

Symbaloo - Simple, Symbolic Web Launch Pages for Students?

As a special education teacher who believes that technology is truly an effective way to reach and teach my students, I am always looking for tools to help present information and resources in a way that addresses my students' learning styles and needs.

I teach young children with autism. My students are very visual learners. So, when I want to use a collection of online resources with my class, I want to present them visually.

My solution for this would be symbaloo. Symbaloo is a new visual way to navigate the Internet, which is frequently being used in education.

After creating a FREE account, educators can easily setup "webmixes", which they would be able to access from any computer with Internet access. A "webmix" is a page full of tiles, which visually represent web sites. Symbaloo features a number of customization options (background color, tile color, symbol or upload custom thumbnail, text labels, etc.).

"Webmixes" either can be kept private or shared. The options for sharing include public (add to Symbaloo gallery) or with friends (via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Hyves, or using a custom URL).

Symbaloo is great for students to use on tablets (iPads), interactive whiteboards, touchscreens, and regular computers. For an example of how Symbaloo could be used in the special education classroom, here is my IWBs in Special Ed webmix.

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