One of the biggest challenges utilizing technology in the primary grades is information accessibility to students.
Let’s be honest, the internet was created for adults to communicate, connect, and share. Young adults have traditionally been the most frequent users of the internet. However, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration “By the age of 10, young people are more likely to use the Internet than adults at any age beyond 25.” Internet users are the youngest they ever have been, yet much of the internet is not appropriate or accessible for our youngest users.
Teachers who integrate technology have difficulty teaching their students internet safety and responsibility while encouraging them to access information. Symbaloo helps to partially solve this problem!
Using the Symbaloo visual bookmarking system, teachers can create a visual, virtual pin board of internet sites to share with students.
In our non-fiction unit, my students can access all of these National Geographic books on their iPads through the Symbaloo app. Even better, I didn’t even have to create this page! Users can share their Symbaloo pages, which makes setting up multiple Symbaloo pages for teachers a breeze!
If you want to create your own Symbaloo page, follow these simple directions:
-Start by going to Symbaloo.
-Click on one of the empty tiles.
-On the top left, click “Save your settings. Create an account now!” To create your own account.
-Once your account is created, click the “+” to create a blank page.
-Click an empty tile
-Click “Create a tile”
-In a new browser tab, go to the website which you want your students to access
-Copy that web link from the link bar.
-Go back to your Symbaloo page and paste that link in
-Repeat the process on a new tile until you have all the websites you want included.
You can also create your own, based on topics that you want your students to research or easily access. For my kindergarteners, I have a Symbaloo pages of all the developmentally appropriate websites I want them to have access to that do not have apps. They can access these at any moment, without having to type anything into to Google or the search bar.
Using a visual pin board such as Symbaloo helps students quickly access the content that is appropriate for them. Students who are not yet literate will not disengage because of spelling worries and teachers do not have to worry about typos leading to inappropriate content.
Symbaloo does not totally lock students out of browsing, as it does have a Google search option. However, it greatly decreases the possibility of visiting inappropriate or unwanted websites due to the visually appeasing and easily accessible nature.
Post by Kirsten McGinnis