Tag Archive for 'categories'

SymbalooEDU – simplify your weblinks

Some of the obstacles that keep educators back from giving a web search task to their students may be:

Time management

Unless guided, students may find it hard to search and find links relevant to the assignment. Searching on Google gives a LOT of results but only a few may be helpful.

Whitelist

Some of the searches may result in links which are not on the Schoolnet whitelist, in which case students will get the “category: none” error, stopping them from viewing the desired website.

Internet safety

It is very important for teachers to ensure that their students are protected when using the internet, especially when a guardian is not with them while browsing at home.

SymbalooEDU is a free service which educators can use to easily create (and share) links and categories, called ‘webmix’. Once registered, a teacher creates links/categories in a number of blocks (see screenshot below).

SymbalooEDU webmix: displayed as a series of clickable blocks

SymbalooEDU webmix: displayed as a series of clickable blocks

These blocks may be direct links to other websites, or a link to a category such as a subject, for example – ‘Geography’, which would then take the user to a link with a list of relevant websites, or even, sub-categories. This will ensure that students have a number of websites available to search from so time is not lost – and this is done in a internet-safe way while ensuring that all links will work. With SymbalooEDU, educators can also share their links between them – for example subject co-coordinators can create a webmix and then make it available to subject teachers to use in their class.

Summing up, SymbalooEDU is a very valid free online tool, straightforward to use and gives immediate benefits.