Symbly’s real-time collaboration — work with others, from anywhere

This post is part of a series examining a few of the great features of Symbly as we approach our public launch. Symbly launches on January 28!

One of the greatest advantages of web-based software is the ability to use it from anywhere. You don’t have to worry about carrying around installation CD’s, and there are no fears of going over your “activation limit” for a serial number. You just enter a URL into the browser on any computer and login to your account. But beyond that basic ease of use, Symbly takes it one step further by giving you the option to collaborate with other users in real-time.

Real-time collaboration means that two (or five, or ten, or more!) Symbly users can have the same support open at the same time. As one edits, the other other sees those changes happening right away. It enables our users to collaborate in real-time across any distance.

The following video shows Symbly’s real-time collaboration in action:

Real-time collaboration enables you to work with a colleague from another city, or one from down the hall. Taking it a step further, we can anticipate our users:

  • Working with a parent remotely. Even if the parent isn’t a Symbly subscriber, you can send them a share link so they can open the support in view mode. Then you can be on the phone or IM with them while you edit the support. You can explain to the parent why you’re designing the support a certain way, and the parent can give valuable feedback about the student’s preferences. It’s true collaboration between parents and professionals.
  • Collaborating for tele-practice. Work with other therapists or clients over long distances, with the same real-time feedback as if you were in the room together.
  • Hosting a group work session via Twitter. Start a topic for the evening on your favorite #hashtag and get 10+ collaborators. Those with a Symbly account can be editing, but everyone can participate and watch the action as it unfolds, giving their advice to the process.

Real-time collaboration is only possible thanks to our powerful architecture that’s capable of performing automatic syncing and merge resolution (utilizing a technique called Operational Transformation). This level of engineering is a new step for special education products, and we’re excited to see what ways our users dream up to utilize this useful tool.

About Riley Dutton
Riley Dutton is the co-founder of Symbly. He's a technical guru with more than 7 years experience working with web-based and mobile platforms. He has worked in special education for more than 5 years. His passion is making complicated tasks simple through excellent user experience. Contact him anytime at

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