In the philosophy behind Symbly, one of our strongest tenets is the belief that the special education community needs to be empowered to work together. That’s why, from the very beginning, we’ve always known that Symbly should include sharing as a primary feature. However, sometimes you want to be a bit more focused in your sharing, rather that sharing a support with the entire world. Perhaps you have a group of colleagues that need to collaborate on a student’s team. Or, you want to create a team that all Symbly users can join centered around a broader topic, such as “Supports for Elementary Students”. The Symbly teams feature allows you to do just that.
Symbly teams are groups of users that share supports with each other. Teams can be public (allowing any user to join) or private (allowing only invited users to join). Sharing a support with a team is easy — just tag it with a special tag (e.g. “#demo-team”) and you’ve given the team access to read and print the support. If you want team members to be able to edit the support as well, just tag it with the team’s edit tag (e.g. “#demo-team-edit”). It’s that easy.
Sharing with groups of Symbly users is useful just by itself, but of course we couldn’t stop with just Symbly users. One of Lindsay’s oldest frustrations from her 10+ years working in special education is the barrier faced by professionals and parents of restricted access to tools that are incredibly important to the education process. We believe that you shouldn’t have to pay hundreds of dollars just to be able to print a support at home from your child’s therapist. And professionals in districts without the funding to purchase expensive software shouldn’t be cut off from access to resources shared at conferences, workshops, and trainings that could improve their student’s lives.
That’s why each team also gets a special link, the team share link. When someone clicks on the share link, Symbly subscriber or not, they are given read-only access to that entire team’s library of supports. We are incredibly excited about this feature, and think the possibilities are endless. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Create a team to be a repository of a student’s supports, then share the link with the student’s parents. Now they can access the repository any time, and know that they’re always accessing the most up-to-date version of the supports. You don’t have to re-send the link every time you change a support or add a new one. Parents can print off supports, and even access the support in view mode on their computer, so the student can use any interactive features of the support right from home.
- Giving a presentation? Create a private team and fill it with all the visual supports you are going to discuss. Then, instead of trying to give out a disk or a huge list of links to resources, give out one single link to the team. Your attendees will be able to access all of the supports to print and view them at their leisure. And if you update a support or add a new one, they’ll be able to get that, too.
- Do you find yourself sharing supports on Twitter or a blog? Create a team to house all of the supports you create and include the link right on your profile. You can also create share links to individual supports for including in specific blog posts or tweets.
We hope that this feature will really help to break down the current hurdles that exist right now to sharing supports freely. Our goal is to improve special education one feature at a time, and we think this is definitely a step in the right direction.
If you want to know more about the Symbly teams feature, check out the How-To video embedded below, which goes into a bit more detail and walks you through the process of actually creating a team and sharing supports:
If you can think of any other ways that we can improve Symbly’s sharing capabilities, let us know in the comments below!