Veteran Curators’ Secret Weapon to Saving Internet Resources

Student created Time Machine in 2001
Classroom built time machine

Calling the WayBack Machine! Did you know that the World Wide Web will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its first publicly available website on August 6? Since that historic day in 1991, the number of users, devices, websites, and online content has been increasing daily and is not likely to stop growing any time soon. However, not everything stays alive on the Internet.  For every piece of new information added, older content will go missing whether it’s a website going down – such as an individual blog – or a publisher archiving a newspaper article.

As a curator of web content, how often do you find that a valuable resource link just disappears? What can you do to safeguard the integrity of an original source of information?

Enter the Internet Archive, a digital public library that provides free access to books, web pages, audio recordings, videos, images, and software. Through it’s Wayback Machine, you can enter a URL and look for a previous version of a website or webpage, possibly already archived. 

Users of the Wayback Machine can even ask to index a page for the archive! Wayback addins, extensions, and apps for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Android and iOS assist with the process. For our LiveBinders members, the Wayback Machine offers you the ability to archive valuable resources making your binder content more relevant to your viewers.

Here is an example of how I share a newspaper article archived by the Wayback Machine in my 20th Century Decades Resources LiveBinder

Great Chicago Snow of 1967 image from the Wayback Machine index that appears in my LiveBinder.

Success with Telehealth and Online Binders

Esther Benons and Dana Yousef – our latest guests on the Organize Success Podcast. Click to listen.

In our latest Organize Success podcast, Linda Houle and I welcome LiveBinders’ curators Dana Yousef and Esther Benons from an innovative healthcare company called MEDZED.  

MEDZED works with high-need patients within the comfort of their own homes.  Dana and Esther talk about MEDZED’s innovative approach to in-person and virtual care. They also share the clever way they use LiveBinders to keep both their nursing staff and their patients connected and informed through their online binders.

I love their cutting edge approach to health care and think that you will find that aspect of their practice very inspiring!  Also, for those of you who are in the midst of trying to manage resources and empower your colleagues and trainees, I think you will find their creative approach to integrating LiveBinders with Microsoft Teams very insightful.

Please click on this link to access podcast and referenced resources including the podcast transcript.

Sharing a S.A.L.T Student Success Story

Last month we shared a recent podcast about Patti Shrom and Andrea Harker’s work with S.A.L.T. – the Student to Adult Life Transition organization that helps teens with disabilities transition to adult life after high school graduation. In this short clip from the podcast, Andrea shares a wonderful success story about one of her students and all of the steps that were taken to make that transition work for her. The S.A.L.T Resource binder, and Patti Shrom’s company S.A.L.T Resource Solutions website are linked in the Podcast binder below.

Link to our Podcast binder and all the resources shared from the Podcast.

Adding Online Binders to Microsoft Teams is Easy

In an upcoming podcast we talk with a LiveBinders customer who has added both binders and LiveBinders shelves to the menu on their Microsoft Teams dashboard. They use LiveBinders to organize handouts, training material and company resources in a group of binders that are much easier to access than by searching through a shared file folder. Online binders are now fully integrated into your Microsoft Teams App! Imagine sharing staff binders, sales binders, and product binders from an easy to find location eliminating the need for resending URLs or printing out pages of a paper-based binder.

Steps to add your binder or shelf URL to Microsoft Teams Dashboard

  1. Copy the URL for your binder or binder shelf
  2. Open your Microsoft Teams App
  3. Go to the Dashboard and find your team
  4. Click on the + sign at the top Navigation Bar
  5. Choose Website URL as the option to embed media
  6. Paste your binder or shelf URL in the URL box
  7. The name of the binder or shelf will appear across the top, but you can shorten it if needed from the Teams dashboard
  8. Click on the link to launch your binder or shelf

You can find screenshots in our Help Guide binder. If you would like to learn more about how to share resources across your team, let us know on our new Contact page and select Request a Demo.

Online Binders Help S.A.L.T Consultants Deliver Value to Parents

In our recently released Success podcast Patti Shrom and her collaborator Michelle Cadle from S.A.L.T Resource Solutions talk about the process of delivering an overwhelming amount of curated information that parents rely on to help them transition their teen with special needs to life after high school graduation.

What they needed was a tool that could manage and display a variety of online content like web pages, storage drive folder links, video URLs and PDF files all in one easy to navigate format, but without the burden of having to create a custom website to organize it all. They also didn’t want to just display links down a page that would burden their parents to scroll through hundreds of URLs in order to find what they need, and without much context to guide them.

LiveBinders’ platform uses a pre-formated, tabular hierarchy that can display a variety of content within a contained environment we call a binder. With just one URL, Patti and Michelle can provide their parents with a single point of access to all of their curated content. They use the first level of tabs to label main category headings that guide parents to the resources they are looking for. It also gives them the ability to quickly add content to each tab, making it immediately accessible and ready to be shared. To the parents, the binder becomes an intuitively simple way to find their resources in one location. Its navigation stays consistently the same no matter how much content is added; something their parents rely on when they return to the binder over and over again.

In this 3 minute video clip below, Patti and Michelle share their S.A.L.T binder and how they deliver all of their workshop, speaker, and government resources using LiveBinders.

The podcast resources, transcript and full podcast recording and video are available in our podcast binder at this link.

If your organization is looking for a solution to your document sharing challenges, contact us for a demo on our contact page.

How to Add Your Google Calendar to an Online Binder

If you would like to have your audience view your Google calendar inside of your LiveBinder tab, use the embed code instead of the link. Using the embed code will add your live calendar to your online binders. It’s an easy way for your stakeholders to find your calendar and see all the up-to-date schedule and event changes in real time. We recently created a Youtube video on how to do that and added it to our Help Guide binder.

In the 3 minute video below, you’ll learn where you can find the embed code of your Google calendar, and how to add it to a tab in your binder.

If you use another calendar tool where the link to the calendar is not embedding in your binder, check to see if it comes with an embed code, and you can use the same procedure to add it. Let us know if you use something other than Google calendar and we will create a demo for our Help Guide binder.

Step-by-step instructions along with the YouTube video tutorial is available by clicking on this link.

Digital Binders And S.A.L.T Resource Solutions, LLC

“I don’t know how to explain it, but we as a parent, you’re like, well, maybe they’ll outgrow this or maybe something will change or this or that. You know, there’s like so many what-ifs and you kind of put things off until you realize it. When it’s not happening, you have to step in and do something. And that’s when you get the panic calls.”

Patti Shrom is the founder of S.A.L.T Resources Solutions. S.A.L.T stands for Student to Adult Life Transition, and in this clip from our Success podcast she highlights the overwhelming feeling parents get when they start to realize how lost they can be as they try to navigate all the forms and processes that are required to transition their teen with disabilities to the adult support system.

Andrea Harker, the School to Work Employment Specialist with the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities, joins Patti to share the types of services S.A.L.T can provide and how starting as early as freshman year can make the transition manageable and successful for both parents and teens.

You’ll also learn how LiveBinders plays an important part in how Patti and her collaborator Michelle Cadle organize all the up-to-date county resources, S.A.L.T speaker handouts and a variety of documentation so that parents can easily access them from one central digital binder.

Please click here to listen to this Podcast episode and access referenced resources including the podcast transcript.

Digital Binders Enabled Teachers to Stay Organized During Lockdown

There is something to be said about knowing your audience, but what about when your audience knows you?  Susie Tiggs could be called a LiveBinders’ Pro. When lock down started on March 13, 2020, Susie woke up the next morning and quickly put together a digital binder for her deaf and hard of hearing community, adding as many resources as she could gather for remote learning during COVID.  Her community instinctively knew she’d have something put together in a LiveBinder and were already Googling her name the next day.  In record time, her digital binder, Virtual Activities for Teachers and Families COVID-19, garnered thousands of views and at the time of the podcast was already at 40K.  LiveBinders quickly solved an issue for Susie and her teachers before it could even become a problem.  By already being familiar with her online binders, they could #pivot from in classroom to remote. Hear Susie’s fascinating turnaround story and how COVID has impacted the deaf and hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired in this short video clip from our podcast Success with the Texas Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Blind and Visually Impaired Student‪s‬.

Embedding Buncee files into your Digital Binder

We recently released a tutorial video and added it to our Help Guide Binder. The video shows you how to add your Buncee files to your digital binder. What’s great about adding media like Buncee to your digital binder is that you are providing another way to engage a select group of stakeholders in your audience who might respond more easily to visual mapping with sound and pictures better than with just text. That doesn’t mean you should ignore those other stakeholders who like to easily find what they need by reading the file name in your binder tab or in a list like a Google folder. Just include those option in your binder, too.

What is nice about adding both a Buncee link and a Google folder link to your digital binder or even just adding your content directly to a binder tab, is that you provide a complete package that gives your diverse audience choices that appeal to them. Using UDL (Universal Design for Learning) principles like these offers your content in more than one format to meet the needs of a diverse group of learners.

Digital Binders and Accessibility

In our recently released Success Podcast, Susie Tiggs and Chris Tabb shared their feedback on the accessibility and responsiveness of LiveBinders to help their Texas visually impaired students with the ability to access online content. It is essential for them that an online tool or app provide the necessary features for the success of engaging online content with whatever technology they are using.

Digital binders can be a useful framework that helps curators package accessible content in a way that makes it easier for stakeholders to navigate. Check out this short, 3 minute clip from our podcast to learn more.

App Smashing in a Digital Binder with Thinglink

App Smashing is the process of bringing together multiple media apps in one place to complete a project. For example, a project might include notes kept in a Google Doc, a YouTube video demonstration, a slide presentation that was presented on Google Slides, or comments on a project organized on a Padlet. Our binder platform allows you to integrate those different media objects into a digital binder without compromising your story’s organization.

Many of our curators have been exploring the use of interactive media to engage their remote audiences. One tool they are using is Thinglink. Thinglink allows you to map hotspots onto an image that can include links to websites, videos, audio files and documents.

In this quick video tutorial, you’ll see how to add a Thinglink embed code to your binder tab.

Learn more about how to add your embed code to your binder from our Toolkit Help Guide.

Using Digital Binders with the Texas Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Blind and Visually Impaired Students

One way to describe Susie Tiggs commitment and dedication to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) community can be realized by her LiveBinders stats. Since she started with LiveBinders, Susie has created some 300 binders, curating over 9 thousand resources in these binders, and garnering hundreds of thousands of views.  She is the Texas Statewide Lead for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, and two of her binders caught our attention: Children’s Stories in Sign Language and her recently created Virtual Activities for Teachers and Families COVID-19 binders.

We reached out to Susie to learn how our digital binders helped her team not only during the pandemic, but throughout a normal school year.  With her invited guest, Chris Tabb from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, we discovered:

  • How Susie could quickly respond to the COVID-19 lock-down by app smashing resources to her binder such as Google folders, QR codes, Wakelets, YouTube videos and more.
  • That components of the DHH and BVI (blind and visually impaired) education are important contributions to the UDL (Universal Design for Learning) program.  
  • How DHH and BVI role models inspire all of us.
  • That “fairy godmother syndrome” is not like a “helicopter parent.”
  • Accessibility is an important reason they use LiveBinders.

Join Linda Houle and I, along with our sound engineer Andrew Lapp, for an informative and uplifting podcast with two educators excited to share their program with you and their love of LiveBinders.

Click here to listen to the podcast on iTunes.
Click here to view the LiveBinders Podcast Binder with links to the podcast, binders and resources mentioned in the interview.

LiveBinders Podcast: Success in Digital Literacy

Susan Brooks-Young started sharing resources on digital literacy back in 2011 in her online digital binder called: Building Blocks for Digital Citizenship. Initially the subject occupied a single tab titled “Truth Matters” where Susan shared teaching resources to help students learn how to differentiate authentic information from fabrication.

9 years later and it is clear that it isn’t just our students who face this challenge. Everyday on trusted apps and websites, consumers are bombarded with an array of truths, misinformation and now a new term: disinformation. Most of us don’t have the skill set to recognize the differences between them. And as my podcast co-host Linda and I learned, the social implications are just the tip of the iceberg.

It is no surprise that the demand for Susan’s digital literacy resources grew. That single tab became an entire online binder: Truth Matters – Digital Literacy in the Post-Truth Era, and then the supporting material for her new book: The Media-Savvy Middle School Classroom: Strategies for Teaching Against Disinformation, and finally her new website: MediaLiteracyToday. All three resources work together to support educators who need to teach this vital skill.

Please join Linda Houle and I as we learn how LiveBinders was exactly what Susan needed to organize her resources. We also dive into the topic of misinformation vs disinformation, why fake news isn’t even news , and how we can all recognize our own echo chambers.

Click here to listen to the podcast on iTunes.
Click here to view the LiveBinders Podcast Binder with links to the binders and resources mentioned in the interview.

LiveBinders Podcast: Success In Combatting Racism with Joy Kirr

Joy Kirr started using LiveBinders as a way to document what she calls “passion projects.” Genius Hour was her first passion project, which is the idea of allowing students to lead and explore their own learning interests for up to 20% of their class time.  She was excited to start implementing Genius Hour in her classroom, but met resistance from parents who didn’t understand the concept and weren’t sure they wanted to give up structured learning time in their child’s classroom. Joy soon realized that what parents really needed was access to those same resources that she had access to, resources that she was already vetting in her LiveBinder. So she started to share her binder and soon parents gained a better understanding of the value of Genius Hour. Her Genius Hour binder now has over a million views, and is the go-to place for the why and how of organizing Genius Hour class time.

Fast forward to 2018 and Joy is onto another passion project. This time she was so taken by the book Being the Change by Sara K. Ahmed that she embarked on a mission to confront her own biases; taking head-on the slippery topic of racial inequality. Once again her LiveBinder started out as a way to keep track of important resources for herself to review, and eventually became an open journey she decided to share with others. This time, though, she is getting a different kind of resistance. We invited Joy to talk with Linda Houle and me on what it means to be anti-racist and on the valuable resources she has collected for her binder. We bring honesty and vulnerability to the podcast, openly admitting that we’re bound to make mistakes, and that our biases are also a work-in-progress with the hopes of encouraging you to start your own conversations. Thank you for listening.

Click here to listen to the podcast on iTunes.
Click here to view the LiveBinders Podcast Binder with links to the binders and resources mentioned in the interview.