#NotAtISTE?

June 26, 2017

I occasionally talk to teachers who don’t even know what ISTE is. ISTE is the biggest edtech conference in the country and it is a blast. There is so much to be learned and so much to be shared at ISTE. But even if you are not in San Antonio this year, you can catch some of the amazing information sharing by following the #NotAtISTE17 hashtag on Twitter.

Even if you don’t have time to follow the hashtag, or if you find it too overwhelming, you can check out the #NotAtISTE17 LiveBinder. Peggy George and myself have collaborated on this for the last couple of years. We gather all the fun things from the hashtag and many of the presentations from ISTE and organize them in a binder so that you can browse it at your leisure. Peggy has also created a Participate collection for all the shared resources.


“LiveBinder It” – New features including save to multiple binders

June 15, 2017

“LiveBinder It” is our handy bookmarklet that lets you add web pages to your binder while you browse. But it can also be used to add multiple files to LiveBinders and to copy tabs from one LiveBinder to another. “LiveBinder It” just got a major update and the new features include:

  • Adding files/links to multiple binders at once – teachers have often asked if they can upload a file to multiple student binders and now they can!
  • Adding files/links to base tabs -before, you had to add files or links to main or sub tabs and then move them to base tabs, but now you can add them directly to base tabs
  • A simplified interface for all these powerful features
new_lbi-1

New “LiveBinder It” Look

new_lbi_2

Easily Add Content To Multiple Binders

new_lbi-3

Add Content to Base Tabs


LiveBinders Google Integration

June 14, 2017

In case you missed some of our announcements on LiveBinders Google integration, here are all the ways that we now integrate with Google:

  1. Google sign up and login – Save time by using your Google account to sign up for or log into LiveBinders
  2. Auto embed of Google docs, presentations, spreadsheets, and Drive folders – Your LiveBinder looks great with all your Google content in it, use “LiveBinder It” to add Google content to your binders, you can even add Google Drive folders to your binder
  3. Add Google content from inside the binder – Another time saver is to add content from Google while you are editing your binder. Use the Drive option from the + Content menu inside the binder to add content from your Google Drive
  4. Share to Google Classroom – Quickly and easily add your binder to Google Classroom by selecting Classroom from the Share menu in your binder

Share Your LiveBinder to Google Classroom

June 5, 2017

We just added Google Classroom to our LiveBinders share options. Just click on the share menu from the player, editor, or shelf and you can quickly post your binder to Google Classroom.

share_to_classroom


Use Canva as a fun addition to your LiveBinder

May 4, 2017

If you have used Canva.com to make a nice flyer or poster, those links will now work in a LiveBinder. Just use the link that Canva supplies to insert your design in a tab. You may not see it at first in the editor, but give it a few minutes or view your binder in play mode to see your cool Canva design.


Add Google Drive Documents from Inside Your Binder

April 19, 2017

You have always been able to add your Google Drive documents to LiveBinders with a link or through LiveBinder It, but now you can add them through the editor too! Just click on “Add Content” while in the editor and then navigate your Google Drive to find your desired document, click on “Select” and that’s it.

This is helpful for students who are filling in an eportfolio template with documents from Google Drive.

add_from_gdrive


Ingenious Approach Blends LiveBinders With Blackboard

April 5, 2017

LiveBinders Case Study: One Expert Educator’s Creative Leap Brings LiveBinders Organizational Features to One of the World’s Most Popular Education Tools

Blackboard Inc.’s Blackboard Learn learning management system is used by over 17,000 schools in 100 countries, including by 75% of American colleges and universities and over half of K-12 districts in the United States. The platform allows teachers to create a cohesive web presence for courses that integrates assignment details, rubrics, readings, and other documents in a wide variety of formats.

Blackboard’s comprehensive approach to course organization, together with its back-end design, invites integration with other online systems like LiveBinders that can help fine TorriaDavistune organization to specific course and student needs. This flexibility of Blackboard allowed Dr. Torria Davis, Instructional Designer at California Baptist University, to take a creative leap and embed LiveBinders directly into a Blackboard Learn course portal, bringing the tabular LiveBinders system to her Blackboard pages. This tabular organization has helped students focus searches for resources by allowing course content to be organized in hierarchical categories, making studying more efficient.

Spatial Hierarchy of Information Facilitates Learning 

According to Dr. Davis, LiveBinders’ tabular organizational structure and capacity for embedding documents minimizes distractions and can keep students from becoming overwhelmed.

Said Dr. Davis, “As an instructional designer mentoring faculty who teach online, I encourage instructors to use web tools that support their learning objectives by presenting content in manageable segments, with easy navigation and accessibility. The LiveBinders’ interface supports these ideas. Reducing the list of items in a table of contents minimizes feelings of being overwhelmed. Tabs allow sequential organization of content, which can be helpful for teaching skills that build upon one another.”

This organizational system helped Dr. Davis’s Blackboard students avoid having to scan  long lists of links and tables of contents with dozens of items. For students, quickly finding the right resources for an assignment may mean the difference between completing the assignment successfully and becoming burned out by long lists.

Because each LiveBinder provides an embed code, Davis could integrate her LiveBinder in an *open book format on the Blackboard page. Students could then navigate LiveBinders’ tabs of content through Blackboard, further minimizing distractions caused by links that would direct students to resources away from the Blackboard site. This direct integration of LiveBinders kept students focused on the content directly in the Blackboard environment. Said Dr. Davis, “Presenting students with an ‘open notebook,’ like a LiveBinder embedded in a Blackboard page, reduces clicks needed to access content–and any reduction of clicks and links to outside pages will help reduce distractions.”

Taking Access and Updating Seriously

In line with Dr. Davis’s philosophy on minimizing distractions for students, making access to course materials easy for all students also means making content as readily available as possible, regardless of available bandwidth or access to the Web. “Because students have varying bandwidth limitations with internet access, reducing the number of clicks to access content is an important consideration,” said Dr. Davis.

And making instructor access to platforms easy is just as important. Dr. Davis found that the cloud-based LiveBinders system offers a seamless experience, no matter where its binders are embedded or shared. “When I discovered that I could update the LiveBinder on the website and it was automatically updated in Blackboard, that was a ‘whoo-rah’ time-saving-moment,” she said.

While embedding LiveBinders in other platforms like Blackboard has made course material more useful and accessible for Dr. Torria Davis and her colleagues at California Baptist University, the platform’s tab and sub tab organizational hierarchy lies at the core of its value. Said Dr. Davis, “Tabs and sub tabs are the most useful organizational feature of LiveBinders. The display of all tabs at once makes the organizational hierarchy visible to the student, and whether the tabs correspond with topics or training steps, the organizational structure is clear.”

*Tech Bells and Whistles for Student Engagement