Symbaloo

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Symbaloo Website Poster Image
Centralize fave sites on personalized pages, watch content.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids will learn how to structure online content by listing links visually; they can develop organizational skills that might transfer to other realms. Symbaloo's main page provides a limited amount of news coverage, which may expose kids to current events in the U.S. and other countries. Ultimately, it's a fairly simple site: users create pages that showcase their favorite websites, but it doesn’t really offer a ton of extras, and the content quality on other users’ pages varies. At the very least, kids can get some reading practice as they explore online, and make choices about what to add to their webmixes, and sharing pages with friends could also help kids develop communication skills. While pretty basic, Symbaloo's a reasonably helpful tool for older kids who want to organize their online faves. 

Positive Messages

The site's news page can encourage kids to conduct research, read, and follow current events. 

Violence

Kids could potentially access sites with graphic photos, which appear in Google ad links when users search for Symbaloo pages on crime and related topics.

Sex

Searches for words such as "sex" and "xxx" turn up public Symbaloo pages that link to online adult toy stores, dating websites, and sites with nude images.

Language

A few Symbaloo names contain words such as "s--t" and "a--."

Consumerism

Major retail shopping sites, including Amazon, eBay, Target, and Best Buy, are offered as quick-add link options for users.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some pages cover drug and alcohol education and abstinence, but other public Symbaloos support drug legalization, smoking, and drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Symbaloo is a visual bookmarking site that kids can use to organize their online favorites. Kids need to enter a name, an email address, and a password to register and then click on a verification email to use all site features and change their preferences. Kids also can connect Facebook and Twitter to a Symbaloo account to facilitate sharing pages or individual links. It's not too difficult for kids to keep their own content private, but the bigger concern is what they'll see when they view other people's pages; you can certainly find inappropriate stuff (links to violent, sexual, and drug-related sites) if you go looking for it.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySusan C. May 14, 2018

Only what you put in

While this site has the potential to be good, it really depends on who is entering the links. It can either be useful or a waste of time if the links are not e... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

SYMBALOO is a website that allows users to compile links to their favorite websites, shown as a series of square image tiles, on personal or public pages called "webmixes." You can add up to 49 news, social-media, shopping-related, music, and other types of tiles by choosing from predetermined lists (a news page lists some stories from Yahoo, and kids can view popular pet and other viral videos in the Fun Stuff section) or entering your own online picks. You can customize the way your webmix looks by changing tile colors, names, and icons. Click on a square you've added for a news site, such as CNN.com, and you'll see some recent headlines; other items link directly to the websites they represent.

Is it any good?

Essentially, Symbaloo is a more picturesque version of a URL bookmark list. As a way to compile information from the Web, its tile-based layout works just fine. But for kid users, it may not be the best place to aggregate content. On one hand, looking at various websites can provide kids with reading practice, and, if they share links with friends, they also could potentially get communication experience. But Symbaloo doesn't offer much instruction or guidance in those areas; the site's educational value likely will depend on the links kids select. 

Kids can use Symbaloo to compile bookmarked sites in one, browser-accessible location, instead of having to transfer bookmarks to several devices. This convenience factor might be a big selling point for young users; however, parents may not be so thrilled about how easily kids can access inappropriate images. Search publicly posted webmixes with a keyword such as "sex," and you'll be able to find pages that link to sites with nude photos. Some pages also support drug legalization, smoking, and drinking.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about making pages you create online public. What potential issues could arise if strangers could see your page, even if it's only a list of links to other sites?

  • Kids can use Symbaloo to track news and events. Ask your child to identify a few news sources. How can you tell if a website is a legitimate source of information?

  • Users can follow each other on the site. Why would your child not want to follow a stranger on the site -- even if your child thinks that person can't (or won't) try to make contact?

Website details

For kids who love staying organized

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