Wednesday, March 7, 2012

MyWeb4Ed Discusses Symbaloo

I’ve recently written about Symbaloo.  I originally used it to make a homepage that had tiles that quickly took me to popular websites.  I then began creating my own webmixes.  A webmix is a set of tiles that are related.  For instance, I have a webmix for all of the websites I use at work, in my Grad work, and for my online teaching position.  The webmixes are divided into tabs so I can quickly jump between them to get the correct link. 

A few things I’ve discovered about Symbaloo since I started would be helpful to someone just thinking about using it or setting it up. 

  • Make Symbaloo your home page.  That’s what really makes it valuable.  I alternate between 3 browsers and I’ve made it my homepage on all three so I always have access to my webmixes.

  • Make Symbaloo your home page on all of your computers.  Symbaloo is cloud-based so by doing this, I have access to all of my webmixes where I log in.  Of course, you can always go to the Symbaloo site and get access there.

  • You can add any website to your webmixes.  All you have to do is click an empty tile space.  Search and see if the site already has a tile available.  Many popular sites do.  If one is not available, you can make your own, choose colors, text, and even a graphic.  If you want, you can upload a graphic to the tile to make it more personal.

  • I haven’t done this, but you can change the background of Symbaloo to match your style. I’m fond of the sleek black look so I haven’t used that feature.

Today, I discovered another great feature of Symbaloo.  All of the webmixes can be shared and are searchable.  So, I did a search for education and found a lot of great, already created webmixes.  Symbaloo also provides the webmix rating and number of  people using it so you get a real idea of the usefulness of the webmix.  For instance, the EDU Tools webmix I’ve linked above has over 10,000 users and is ranked 3 out of 5 stars.

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