Saturday, February 18, 2012

“Mrs. ______, I Can’t Find the Website!”

How many times have you given your students a URL to type in and they just can’t seem to get to the website you intended? As an elementary school teacher, I have encountered this problem many times. Even though my students are more tech savvy than I was at their age, they sometimes struggle with typing in a URL correctly. I have found even writing it down for them and having them copy it directly into the address bar is challenging for some. It also takes a while for an untrained keyboarder to type a long URL quickly as well.

I am here to tell you that there is a wonderful website that will completely eradicate this problem. In my current grad class, I am learning about all kinds of Web 2.0 tools that can be easily used to help our little ones along.

So, without further ado… I introduce to you Fav7! By visiting this website, you can create a page of up to 7 websites that you would like your kiddos to have easy access to. All they have to type in is and a code that is given when you set up a site. This is absolutely free, and you can create as many as you like.

Here is an example of what one would look like:


You simply type in or copy/paste the websites into Fav7 and voila! You have a nice page made for you just like this that the kids can visit and click on each site.


Sunday, February 5, 2012


If you haven’t heard of Symbaloo, I am here to tell you that you MUST check it out. I have fallen in love with this site after learning about it from my professor, this semester of grad school. Symbaloo is a site that let’s you create Webmixes for your home screen. If you are an organization freak like me, you will LOVE it. It works a lot like iGoogle, but with a nicer format that allows you to arrange websites you visit often into a tiled screen. You can create as many different Webmixes as you choose. You can even create mixes of RSS feeds so you can just click on one screen and keep up with your favorite blogs or other sites with a feed.

Here is a quick peek into my Symbaloo home screen!


I have arranged it so that I have school sites on top, personal on bottom, Web2.0 tools on the left, and social sites on the right. There is a little shopping down there at the bottom too!

The large tile in the middle can serve as a Google search, but it will also show Facebook and Twitter feeds when widgets are used.

You can also do this:


That my friends is RSS feeds from some of my favorite technology blogs. I don’t have to visit Google Reader to see them anymore!

Did I mention that you can share Webmixes also? Yes, that is right. You could create one to share with fellow teachers. I plan on creating some for units of study to share with my grade level team. You could even share them with your students. A login is not required for others to use the mix you create if you share it. You can share it via email, Facebook, Twitter, or even embed it into your class website. My gears are spinning right now! I think I am off to create a mix for my students to use for our upcoming unit on the Civil War. I will make sure to share it with all you wonderful blog friends when I am finished.