Symbaloo for Planning and Facilitating Professional Learning Experiences
By PD PRO Jayme Linton
In addition to serving as a tool for organizing teaching and learning in the classroom, Symbaloo is a great resource for educators tasked with designing and facilitating professional learning opportunities. A Symbaloo webmix can serve as a hub during the planning and delivery of professional learning (PL) opportunities. As an educator gathers resources in preparation for a professional learning experience, a webmix comes in handy for organizing those resources. Webmixes are easily edited, which means resources can be reorganized throughout the planning process. As a webmix takes shape, the visual layout of resources can help PL leaders see how concepts and resources are related and assist in identifying connections, redundancies, or gaps in the content.
Although what I’ve described is how useful a Symbaloo webmix can be during the preparation and planning for a PL experience, the real purpose of a PL webmix is to facilitate learning for the participants. A webmix makes it easy for PL leaders to share content and resources with educators, which means it’s equally easy for participants to access and utilize those resources. Even more importantly, a webmix can provide an opportunity for participants to follow-up and engage with content long after the workshop is over.
Below are three examples of Symbaloo webmixes designed for professional learning. Use these webmixes to brainstorm how you might use Symbaloo to design and facilitate professional learning opportunities for educators.
Also, at a recent Discovery Education Common Core Academy, the facilitator shared a Symbaloo webmix with multiple resources to help educators understand and teach the Common Core State Standards. The organization of this webmix made it a particularly useful resource both during the workshop and afterward.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction created a Symbaloo webmix to link educators to NC resources for teaching and learning. I’ve participated in numerous professional learning opportunities where NC DPI consultants referred to the webmix in order to point educators to useful resources.
Whenever I talk with pre-service and in-service teachers about virtual field trips, I share this webmix I created, which contains all of my favorite resources for designing virtual field trips. The webmix allows educators to not only see and hear me share ideas and resources for virtual field trips but also explore those resources on their own.
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