In my middle school Speech and Debate class this semester, students are writing a speech to persuade on a variety of topics focusing on sports in America today. Topics range from athletes as role models, mandatory P.E., drug testing of athletes, equal playing time, and spectator codes of conduct. To help students get started with their research, I have catalogued a number of websites to help them find relevant support material for their persuasive speech topics. There are a number of digital curation tools to help preserve and maintain web content, websites and other web tools. I have found a number of benefits using Symbaloo to help curate web resources for students’ persuasive speeches.
Symbaloo offers a visual attraction and layout that the other digital curation tools do not. Each tile represents a link. Links can be color coded and grouped to help catalogue links together by topic or interest. For example, I have color coded the tiles on my Symbaloo based on the persuasive speech topics. The Symbaloo I created specifically for my Speech and Debate students offers links to various articles from sources such as The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, The Bleacher Report, as well as various blogs. The best thing is that I am able to share the Symbaloo, make it public and embedded it on my class Wikipage so that students can easily access the information and even add additional tiles containing research articles. Symbaloo is collaborative, easy to utilize for personal or professional “webmixes,” and can be used in the classroom for multiple purposes. Students can even create their own Symbaloo for research papers, essays, author studies or other class projects. Symbaloo is free for individuals. Need more information, check out the additional links below.