Saturday, September 1, 2012

Our LOVE For Symbaloo Is Growing....The New Secondary and Author Symbaloo Webmixes ROCK!

"Lets just check out our Symbaloo for the link to that site".... 

"Did you see that Mrs. Miller added the author of 'Chicken Butt' and 'Sister's Grimm' to our new author Symbaloo?" 

I am hearing more and more comments like this from the students and teachers at Van Meter.  Even at our house when Hagan speaks of finding something, he knows he can go to the Symbaloo on his iTouch to easily find it.

Last week I wrote about Symbaloo, Look How We Are Using Symbaloo To Collect and Share Our Favorite Websites and Resources, and how we are using it this year at Van Meter.  In addition to having it set as the home page in the elementary computer lab, classroom teachers and students also have been creating and using their Symbaloo webmixes for different purposes too. (You can find this webmix here...VM Library Resources Symbaloo webmix)
At the beginning of the week, I spent a few hours with the special education students at Van Meter.  We created the Van Meter Secondary Resources webmix. 
I taught them about Symbaloo and showed them how easy it was to add and create tiles. They gave input on what websites should be included and created their own Symbaloo accounts.
By adding tiles such as Accuweather, Pandora, Animoto, and the Van Meter School website, our secondary students will be able to stay connected to each other, resources, Web 2.0 tools, and other awesome sites. 
My wonderful cadet Liv Acri (@livlivacri) also helped with this webmix by adding sites that she uses too.  Liv thought this Symbaloo would be very helpful to her and her friends.

I will be sharing this new webmix with all of our secondary students and teachers today.
At the beginning of each year, I always like showing the students how many authors have amazing websites.  We also spend a lot of time on finding places where they can find books, eBooks, information about authors, and connect with a variety of different reading sites and resources.

When a few of the students were sharing new websites they found over the summer, I thought it would be fun to start the VM Favorite Authors webmix.  I had the students contribute to the author webmix throughout the week after investigating websites of authors they liked.  I really love how this Symbaloo webmix turned out....It contains so many of the BEST authors!
I have mentioned how nice the Symbaloo app is and I am really starting to see the benefits of having access to it more and more each day.

Within the app, it is easy to go to your different webmixes to view, edit, or share.
This is a screen shot of the new VM Favorite Author webmix.  It is so fun to see how great each little tile looks within the app.  The students loved learning about this week.  As the website states, "If you read fiction and nonfiction books in any discipline or setting,'s database of instructional materials will enliven your K-12 reading and library activities."  

I love all of the multimedia resources such as book trailers, blogs, and interviews that are included within
I also included a tile for Mackin VIA, Mackin BookTalk, and Penguin's We Give Book program.

This puts the websites at their fingertips anytime they might need them!  I have had students bring their iTouches and other devices to the library just so they can add the Symbaloo app to start using the webmixes we have created for Van Meter.  I love how they are putting the library in their pocket!
You can get the Symbaloo app for free here.
Feel free to add our webmixes to your Symbaloo too!

I can't wait to see the webmixes our older ones create this year and how we use this tool within the curriculum and our school community.

Symbaloo is one tool that will definitely continue to make a difference!


  1. I am loving Symbaloo!! I'm so glad you've included this information on your blog. If you have a do you change the background on your webmixes? Also, I'm not sure how to make a Symbaloo account to include on the student computers in the library since there isn't an email account to sign up with. My email account is attached to my personal Symbaloo. Any ideas? I LOVE your blog and thank you so much for sharing so many inspiring ideas! Elizabeth

    1. I figured out the wallpaper question :) So now just the one question. Thanks!

    2. Hi Elizabeth,

      So happy you are also loving Symbaloo. Isn't it great! :)

      If I can help in any way, please let me know.

      Have a super night, Shannon

  2. Shannon, thank you so much for all of your awesome ideas. You are providing inspiration for many teacher-librarians!

    I am interested in working more with Symbaloo myself and with my district's Teacher-Librarians. We are completely stoked about your "Library in Pocket" idea. You have linked to the regular Symbaloo app in this post. In your "Library in Pocket" post you show a screenshot with the Symbaloo Edu app. Which do you prefer?


    1. Hi Tracy,

      Thank you so much for your nice comments. :)

      That is a great question....I have both. There isn't one I prefer. Here are some of the things that SymbalooEdu offers to teachers and students in addition to the other. I just have a free account but am thinking about getting the personal one so I can have it be branded for the Van Meter VOICE.

      Have fun....Let me know how you use it.


  3. Hi Shannon

    I'm interested in getting in touch with you about you writing a guest post on our blog ( Let me know if you're interested at

    Sarah at Easyread

  4. Hello Shannon - thank you for sharing and inspiring! My tech specialist and I are very interested in using Symbaloo for our lower elementary schools as a homepage.

    I was especially looking at your favorite author mix - do you take screen shots for the tile backgrounds or something different?

    Thank you so much for your help!