Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tech Tuesday- Symbaloo!

Welcome back to #techtuesday! 
I've had requests for another #appslam, so I will definitely put one in the books for next week. 

Today, I'm sharing about a simple tool that I discovered last year that makes BOTH teacher life and student life easier. 
Have you heard of it?!
You HAVE to check it out!
Symbaloo can be used with any amount of technology you have in your classroom. If you have 1:1 like I do, you will love this. If you have a handful of devices, you will love it, it's that simple- I promise!
When you click to head over to Symbaloo, this is what you will see. 
Once you sign up for Symbaloo, you can change your background and the tiles that are displayed on the screen. 
Here's what I use it for:
Ya'll know I am a NGLE 1:1 Chromebook classroom. 
Instead of my kids having 80,987,674,858,486,354 "favorites" tabs, 
they just have ONE. 
My Symbaloo I created and shared with them. 

How is this helpful, you ask?

1. At the beginning of the year, I used my Hapara magic only once to open a tab for my students. Once they have my Symbaloo as a tab, all they have to do is click on the tab and can easily choose which site they need for their station. 
2. I can modify/change/add to my Symbaloo with just a few clicks at any time, anywhere.
Throughout the year if I discover a new site, all I have to do is add the tile to my Symbaloo and it's done. It doesn't matter if little Stevie was absent that day, All Stevie has to do is go to the Symbaloo page and it's there. I don't have to do anything when Stevie comes back to get him on the site! 
3. When Chromebook issues occur, at least in my classroom, they typically result in a HelpDesk ticket to our tech peeps at my school. Normally, it has something to do with the keyboard, mouse track, or a sweet darling accidentally broke their headphone jack and it's stuck in their computer. When an issue occurs where the motherboard (We just stepped into Star Trek, did you feel it?!) has to be removed, their computer is almost wiped clean. They have to completely log back in with their entire email and ALL of their tabs are GONE. The mouse track and the headphone jack issue have both happened to my classroom just this week. If I had my kids "favorite" every site we use on a daily basis, I would have had to sit down with  different kids yesterday and add all of those tabs again. #aintnotbodygottimeforthat 
Instead, I only had to use my Hapara magic to open on tab and they were done. 
Here's a peek at what my Symbaloo looks like. 
I have Math Stations on the left (Math is in the morning for us) and ELA stations on the right.
Across the bottom are the Free Choice Friday sites the kids can choose for 20 minutes if they earned their free choice on Friday. I also have a GC/other resources section and sites our music teacher uses as well. 
I hope you find Symbaloo as a useful tool for your classroom!
Link up your #techtuesday post below, or comment with a #techtip!

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