The Styling Librarian

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Styling Librarian Technology Focus: Symbaloo Switchover Top 10 Tips


New Library Symbaloo Home Page

This year, I was really heartbroken. By technology. I had a program, Only2Clicks, that I thought was perfect. It helped me organize my thoughts and resources for my school community. I’d used it for two years with great success. A few of my technology colleagues told me it had a little too much, was a little overwhelming, so I pared down and updated. But then it happened. A page with a bunch of spinning wheels instead of lovely images. What a disappointment. I wrote to the people who managed the program. Asked for support. They apparently have quit managing the program. So, I knew I had to let it go and switch to something else, but what?


Digital Citizenship Page

For years, I’ve had my eye on Symbaloo as a great program but I just wasn’t seeing how to use it as well as I used Only2Clicks and I was hesitant to invest my time in something new without being confident. I chatted with a wonderful friend who is a teacher librarian at another school in the same frustrating place with Only2Clicks. We agreed that we would try Symbaloo. I went the free route. I was pretty happy. (All images are directly linked to their page if you wish to see what I like using for teaching about Digital Citizenship or want to see some great Summer Reading Resources.)

Here’s what I did to make things work for me:

1. For every Symbaloo mix I made I added a link back to the original Symbaloo home page. I always placed it on the bottom right corner so there was consistency. I also kept it the same color, etc.

2. For every mix I made, I placed it as a link on my Symbaloo home page.

3. I worked hard to make the Symbaloo mixes visually appealing.

4. I found many links on my Only2Clicks pages that were not as useful as they were when they were added a few years before.

5. I eliminated excess links.

6. I grouped like objects.

7. I color coded similar links.

8. I gave myself flexibility to just use quick images that Symbaloo provided instead of worrying about downloading lovely images from the webpages and then uploading them onto Symbaloo.

9. I had numerous people test out the Symbaloo pages I created.

10. Finally, I had my technology manager eliminate (sob, but not so terrible now) my Only2Clicks link for library resources and use this Symbaloo instead.


Summer Reading Resources Collected

This was so refreshing.

It was also liberating.

Technology sometimes fails for good reason. It’s telling you, “time to do new things, time for a refresher, time to UPDATE.” Hooray for another way to grow.

I’ve shared about technology resources so many times before… if you want to visit one of those posts, here’s a link:

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2 comments on “Styling Librarian Technology Focus: Symbaloo Switchover Top 10 Tips

  1. David E.
    June 23, 2015

    I can’t wait to check this out! Thanks for sharing. Technology can be both a huge thrill and help, and also a huge letdown. I’ve experienced plenty of both. Symbaloo looks promising, though. Have you had experiences with students blogging? Still trying to figure out whether I should plunge into Edublogs or Kidblogs for next year…Sent from Yahoo Ma

    • The Styling Librarian
      June 23, 2015

      Yes, so useful… Symbaloo has been around for quite a while. Reliable. My school is a Google one, so kids have Bloggers set up- they have different requirements to post every term, it was interesting to see what they selected, especially my son. The Blogger is pretty restricted and secure which I appreciate… I used to use Edublogs a long time ago but found that the advertisements were annoying- suddenly plunked into the middle of my posts. Haven’t used Kidblogs. 🙂

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