"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." --John Dewey

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fall in love with LiveBinders

If you are an experienced teacher with more than a few years under your belt, chances are that you have a bookshelf or file drawer filled with the materials that you use year after year.  After all, why reinvent the wheel when you have one that actually rolls pretty well?  Now, though, in addition to your resource books and printed materials, you also have bookmarked websites and Word documents and PDFs and videos and podcasts--all of which relate to a particular unit, and most of which are stored in various places online or on your computer's hard drive.  If only there was a way to keep all of your resources neatly organized and easily accessible in that 3-ring binder there on your shelf.  (Insert audible sigh here.)

You may not be able to store your digital files in a 3-ring binder, but you can store all of it in a livebinder!  LiveBinders.com is an awesome site that makes organizing your teaching materials easier than you ever thought possible.  Every binder you create with your free account can be divided into tabs and subtabs, each of which can hold virtually any sort of digital content.  Add text, images, documents, PDFs, calendars, videos, web links, widgets . . . whatever.  Use html to embed material in your binder, and use html to embed your binder (or a whole shelf of binders) in a web page--a tidy little package, indeed.

In addition to the two binders I have embedded in this blog, I have binders with professional development resources for workshops I present; class lists, seating charts and emergency info for substitutes; and one that contains web links with log in hints for my students.  These examples, however, just scratch the surface of the potential uses for livebinders.  Create accounts for your students (from sub-accounts of your Gmail) and livebinders become portfolios of their work.  Planning a vacation, or a wedding?  Use livebinders to organize flight, hotel, and rental-car info; or wedding dress, catering, and florist details.  Anything that needs to be organized, needs to be organized in a livebinder. Add the "LiveBinder It" bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar, and adding content to your binder couldn't be easier.

Visit LiveBinders.com and take a look at some of the amazing work that our generous colleagues have chosen to share at the site.  Even if you decide not to create a binder of your own, I promise you'll find some remarkable treasures that will cause you to fall as madly in love with livebinders as I have.

Here's a sample of the binders on my shelf:

Well . . . look at this!

My pleasure, ladies! 
Always happy to spread the word about my favorite resources.

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