Long before Covid19 transformed the landscape of classroom teaching, LiveBinders users John Dahlgren and Peggy Hohensee were figuring out how to better navigate their college institution’s learning management system (LMS) protocols. Both had one objective in mind: to make it easier for students to find their class materials. They discovered that LiveBinders could be a flexible central location for their course material both inside and outside their LMS. Inadvertently, they also realized that by having this consistent access to their resources, their students became more engaged and self-sufficient learners.
In this episode, Linda Houle joins our podcast again to welcome John and Peg. I hope that for those of you who are grappling with how to manage your classroom remotely, you’ll see how LiveBinders can be a valuable extension of your teaching practice.
John Dahlgren is a Career and Technical instructor of Drafting and CAD Technology courses and is a Technical Trainer with Butte College Contract Education.
Peggy Hohensee is the Chair of the Purdue University Global Math Department responsible for a team of people who teach, develop curriculum, design and create supplemental course materials from freshman level mathematics to graduate statistics.
On March 12th, 2020, literally days before all of our lives changed by the COVID-19 lock down, Linda Houle (a long time LiveBinders curator) and I Zoomed with Elizabeth Kahn, the Library Media Specialist at Patrict Taylor Science and Technology Academy in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, to talk about her Hurricane Katrina LiveBinder. In the interview, Elizabeth clearly demonstrates how important our role as custodians to historical events really are. Here is why.
In 2005 those of us old enough will remember Hurricane Katrina and how devastating it was to New Orleans and the towns, schools and people who were displaced by it. Fear was palpable, but through time the impact, the trauma, the fear starts to fade. Elizabeth and her colleagues had a simple epiphany: A generation of students are growing up without any knowledge of this devastation and how it displaced a million people in a matter of hours and impacted their own family’s lives.
At that time, Elizabeth does what librarians are trained to do, she goes out and finds information, resources that can help tell the story of what happened in 2005. She vets information and then she goes a step further, she builds a narrative in the way she organizes her resources. In this case, she puts them in a digital binder because so many things that she wanted to illustrate are captured on film. She starts to build activities that she can share with teachers. It moves from one classroom to many classrooms, even to classrooms outside of the neighborhood she is trying to preserve.
But there is something that happened that is unique only to this digital world. Those primary sources started disappearing, and that’s the part where you hear Linda and I reflecting upon it in the beginning of the podcast. In the actual interview, you’ll hear Elizabeth bring this up as something that is part of her routine, but it is significantly more revealing about her commitment to the cause and to what it takes to keep a history alive.
We often discover great public binders on our website that we feature on Twitter, Facebook and our Featured binders page. Although they have been perfect avenues for highlighting great resources, what’s been missing over the years is a deep dive into the why and how of these binders.
We’ve had the privilege of hearing great stories directly from our curators. Our Organize Success Podcast was born out of a desire to start sharing those conversations with you. We think you’ll benefit from learning what our curators have already figured out from their own research and organization.
Our very first podcast features Fred Cochran, Coordinator for Continuous Improvement and Support at the San Joaquin County Office of Education and his UDL Toolkit Binder. UDL is an education framework that act as guidelines to help you create flexible learning environments that accommodate individualized learning differences. Although it is an education framework, the guidelines can be effectively used in any interactive setting where you are trying to make a connection with your audience.
If you’ve ever tried to teach an individual or a group of people new information, you’ll appreciate how Fred candidly shares the UDL mindset he adopted to improve his own work, where he happily saw, time and again, better audience participation and engagement. These are gems you won’t want to miss. We believe you’ll walk away knowing how to improve your own face-to-face or remote presentations.
Highlights from our conversation:
From architecture to education
Keen observations reveal how design benefits everyone
Rethinking ‘access’ from physical to conceptual
Teacher as designer
UDL as a mindshift practice
Value of giving choice, and the flexibility to change it
How quickly our lives have changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic! We won’t count the ways in this post, but what hasn’t changed, and will not change, is the need to demonstrate good manners with those with whom we interact.
The social distancing and self-isolation practices that have been implemented to keep us safe in this battle have driven more of us to use videoconferencing technology. When meeting with co-workers, clients, teachers, classmates, telemedicine staff, etc. we want to use the time we have with them effectively so that our meetings are productive. No one appreciates time wasted with avoidable technical issues, distracting background noises, or unnecessary chatter – verbally or in the chat box.
The Videoconference Etiquette LiveBinder offers a few selected web articles offering practical advice for having a successful meeting — whether you are leading a videoconference or participating in one. This binder was created to be an easy read that you can share with whomever you think will find it useful.
Please feel free to edit it – add tabs with text, web pages or videos that you would like to share with others. To do this, create a free account with LiveBinders. At the top of the Videoconference Etiquette binder there will be an Options button. Click it and choose Copy. This will add a copy of the binder to your LiveBinders “shelf”. You can now edit the binder to make it your own.
If you have any questions while doing this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to help.
Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all of you who have taken the big step of social distancing to help all of us #flattenthecurve of the COVID19 virus. It is proving to be the best course of action. We also want to send our thanks and support to the doctors, nurses and caretakers who are risking their lives to save the infected.
Remote Learning Toolkit
The Remote Learning Toolkit is a fantastic, and timely, binder for those who are looking for free tools on how to get your remote classroom started. You’ll find templates for online attendance records, free online planning tools, whiteboards and chat applications. Please feel free to use and copy Stella Maris Berdaxagar’s Remote Learning Toolkit Binder. This is a great example of app smashing at its best.
In terms of your knowledge of the virus and what it means to you, please take a moment to read this article. Written in very clear terms, it helps explain what is going on with the virus, how the data can guide us on the best course of action and what you can expect to happen in the immediate future. It is worth reading and is very powerful. Please share it with others.
Sending safety and healing to all of you from all of us at LiveBinders.
We are pleased to announce a new feature for our subscribers – unlisted access! This allows you to create a binder anyone with a link can access, but it won’t be included in search results on the LiveBinders site, Google, or other search engines.
This new feature gives our subscribers the ability to create a private shelf of binders where people won’t need to type in an access key for each binder. This feature works very similar to the Google Doc access setting called “Anyone with a link.”
One note, files marked as “private” inside the binder will not be visible in an unlisted binder.
Our Team plan allows users to manage multiple LiveBinders accounts from an administrator’s panel. In addition, the Team plan lets members mark their binders with a team plan privacy setting formerly known as ‘limited access,’ now known as ‘team access.’ ‘Limited access’ gives private restrictions to a binder, similar to ‘private access’, but makes it viewable without an access key to all members on the same team. This is a way to create a team library of shared binders.
For those who are members of an existing team plan, you can still find your limited binders from the ‘All My Binders’ dashboard, just look for ‘Team Binders’ instead of ‘Limited Binders’.
You can find more information from our Help page under “Team Shelf.”
If you would like to learn more about the Team plan or about the team library, please sign up for a free demo here.
As a follow-up to my blog post on the power of goal writing for students, I did some more research around resiliency, and started learning more about executive functions. According to www.beyondbooksmart.com, executive function are skills that students need for the following:
Organizing thoughts and materials
Planning and prioritizing
Getting started (task initiation)
Staying on track
Remembering what to do and when to do it
Managing emotions and impulses
I did a search for “executive functions” on our website, and found a group of binders with free resources created by MindPrint Learning. There were so many interesting resources available.
In particular I was taken with their quote on homework:
“…supporting (students) with planning, structure and organizational strategies can be key to helping them work more efficiently, effectively and independently.”
There are a number of things you can do to help your student feel confident about their style of learning. One of the first things you can do is figure out what type of learner your student is. There are many places that offer online tests. Mindprint Learning offers their servicehere. Once you understand your student’s learning style, you can organize a homework area to enhance and build your student’s learning confidence.
See our highlight of Mindprint Learning’s homework checklists and other free resources available below.
Setting New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to focus on one’s goals and develop a growth mindset.
In his two-year study, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson had 700 students write down their goals in a class called Maps of Meaning. Asking them to reflect on fundamental moments in their life that he referred to as “self-authoring,” Peterson instructed his students to list different strategies and goals that would help them overcome their obstacles.After 2 years, he found that the achievement gaps between minority groups and white students closed significantly for those who participated in the assignment compared to those in the control group who did not. “The act of writing is more powerful than people think,” Peterson shared.
Inspired by both Melissa Dahl’s story for The Cut and Anya Kamenetz’s NPR story about Dr. Peterson’s research, I wondered if students in class, or even at home, are encouraged to reflect on and write down goals. As a result of these exercises, would these students be able to learn resilience?
Resilience is something that researchers are now identifying as a ‘growth mindset’, a term coined by Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset. Adopting a growth mindset encourages people to realize that their abilities can be improved over time with intentional and consistent effort. Goal writing seems like a great way for students to start learning and improving their own resilience.
Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Around the same time that I discovered Peterson’s research, I was delighted to find a binder designed specifically for students and goal setting. Titled ‘New Year’s Resolutions,’ the binder is curated by one of our Certified Trainers, Stella Maris Berdaxagar, who designed exercises for ELA students geared not only towards improving their writing skills, but also setting personal goals and writing New Year’s resolutions.
Berdaxagar’s binder has guided steps on how a teacher can provide activities that encourage teen and adult students to reflect not only on what they’ve accomplished in the past year, but also on what their new goals are, and how they plan to attain them. Berdaxagar also includes an impressive selection of engaging activities that help students learn skill sets that could last them a lifetime.
Please let me know what you think!
Ready to Impress?
Have you curated an impressive body of resources to share? Feel free to contact me for a brief demo on how curators like Berdaxagar are easily packaging and distributing their resources with our online digital binders.
We have had many requests from people who wanted to create a cleaner look for their binders by removing the url link that appears above the content. This feature is now available to our premium subscribers!
To use this feature, just go into your binder in edit mode and click on Settings > Layout. Use the selection box titled Hide URL above content, then click on Save. You will have an option to remove the link completely or have a little icon replace the link.
Here is a screenshot of the page with an icon instead of a link:
One note, even if you hide the link completely, the icon will show up on mobile devices. The reason for this is that many mobile devices require you to open pdfs outside the binder, so we needed to provide people with an opportunity to still open the pdf on their mobile device.
Do you have a feature that you would like to see added to LiveBinders? Please comment on this post!
On Wednesday 10/10, one of our servers became unresponsive and caused our site’s performance to degrade. After we successfully restarted the server, the site performance returned to normal.
After additional analysis, we discovered that a new feature we were testing had created a dependency on this server. When a server goes down, our website should be able to continue to perform properly, but did not because of this dependency. We have fixed this problem and have verified that our software no longer has this issue.
Fortunately, many of you were able to keep up-to-date on our progress — both from our status page and our Twitter feed.
Thank you again for the supportive Tweets we saw on our feed. We know how much you depend on your binders and we really strive to keep LiveBinders reliable and resilient.