Dropbox Links Broken

If you have Dropbox links inside your binders, they are probably broken. Dropbox has done this for security purposes.  Please see their blog post for more details.  If you have issues with this change, you may want to comment on their blog post as many of their customers have already done.

This also broke our connector to Dropbox, so that if you try to create new links to pdfs in your Dropbox, the documents will show up as downloads inside the binder instead of full pdfs that you can view in the binder.

The best alternative for now is to upload these files directly to LiveBinders so that they show up properly inside the binder. If this problem is affecting you and you are close to your file size limit on LiveBinders, please contact us as support@livebinders.com

We will probably have a follow-up blog post on this in the next few days so stay tuned.

Changes in iPad Support and Our Present Feature

We have two small changes to talk about today. The first is for the iPad. Previously you were not able to scroll content in the iPad. We have implemented a short-term fix for this by adding “Less” and “More” buttons at the bottom of the window on the iPad. By clicking on these buttons, you can adjust the vertical size of the content window to view longer pages:

Less and More on the iPad
You will see these buttons only on the iPad.

Present Mode
The second item that we added is the link to present mode. We noticed that many of you prefer to send your binders around in present mode. For those of you that don’t know what present mode is, just click on the “P” in the lower right of any binder (an example is included below). You will see a cleaner version of your binder without the login and sharing information. If you prefer to send your binder around this way, you can now do that by cutting and pasting the “Present URL” from the Embed option.
You can get to the Embed option either from clicking on the “E” in the lower right inside the binder or from the Options menu on the shelf.

Here is a binder shown in Present Mode:

Classroom 2.0 Show

We had a fabulous turn out for the Classroom 2.0 show where we featured classroom uses of LiveBinders.  Listen and watch the show here.

Steven Anderson shared his twitter binder:

Karen Bolotin shared her Animal Web Cam and Classroom printables binder:

Dawn Wall shared her student book report binder:

Mike Fisher shared his Social Justice Project binder:

Becky Johnson shared her Web 2.0 projects binder:

Here is the binder from the session:

A huge thank you to our guests who shared their binders and everyone who attended.  It was great fun!

New Colors and Less Steps

We added two new colors to LiveBinders today, Steel-Tan and Steel-Blue.

New binder colors Steel-Tan and Steel-Blue

To use the new colors, just use the pull-down menu under Edit Menu >  Properties > Color.  Then click on “Update”.

We also simplified finding the “Start a Blank Binder” page and the “LiveBinder It” page, so that both are visible from any of the main pages.

We are still working on your other requests and feedback, so please keep those coming!

Move Tabs to Subtabs

Happy New Year!  Our new year’s gift to our LiveBinders friends is the ability to easily move tabs to subtabs and move subtabs up to tabs.  Thanks for hanging with us on this one, we know that it took us a while to get there.  But we appreciate all the emails asking for this feature.

To try out the new tab moving features, just click on the “Edit Menu” from your binder and then click on “Tabs”.

We hope everyone has a wonderful new year!

We are very excited to announce collaboration!

Thank you to everyone who asked us for collaboration features. Now you can have multiple people creating and editing the same LiveBinder. Here are just some of the uses that educators came up with for this feature:

  1. Student group projects – in your class or with a school across the country
  2. Teachers collaborating on lesson plans
  3. Teachers and students working in the same binder
  4. District or school binders that are a collection of resources

Dawn Wall, Technology Coordinator from Kansas State University, was one of our early testers of the collaboration feature.  Here is how she is using it:

“This collaboration functionality is really awesome. For example, we have created a private binder to share information regarding a complicated program transition. This allows us to have select staff update the binder in a timely manner while all interested parties have access to view the binder and have up-to-date information. I also think it has great potential for K-12 and post-secondary education project collaboration”

A note to all of our early Collaboration users and beta testers:  We wanted to let you know that we made some changes to collaboration since you started using it. For security reasons, we switched from user names to email addresses when you invite a collaborator. Your current collaborative binders should still work, but for new ones, you will need to use email addresses instead of user names.

Please see this binder to find out how to use the new collaboration features:

Please also keep those suggestions coming in.  We greatly appreciate your help in making LiveBinders a better product!

Display a Different Author Name

We have added a new feature to LiveBinders that allows you to display an author name other than your user name.  You may want to do this if you want to use your real name, your twitter ID, or if you are collaborating with someone and want to use both your names.

Your user name will still show as binder author if this box is left blank.  If you want to change it, just type it into the form in the Properties section of the “Edit Menu”.

How to set the binder author name that is displayed on your binder

Here is how your binder author name will display:

New Educational Category Search and More Sorting Features

Thank you to everyone who sent in feature requests! We have added some of your requests to this release including:

Searching  just the educational category. Now you can search just the binders in the educational category by entering your terms in the “Educational Searches” menu.  First click on the “More Education” link.  Then you can type in a term or terms that will search only the educational binders on the site.

Sort your binders alphabetically or by least viewed. Everyone is building so many binders that they asked for more ways to sort them.  There is now a pull down sort menu with all the options:

See the number of ratings that contributed to the rating of a given binder. In the details section (accessed either from the Options menu on the shelf or the “Details” link in the binder, you can now see the number of ratings that contributed to the rating of a binder.

Adding two new binder colors, brown and peach.

Adding “Original Author”. Now, when you copy a binder, the original author will be noted in the details section.

New Copy Option, Plurk, and Facebook Like Added to LiveBinders

We have been busy at LiveBinders.  Thanks to the input from teachers around the world using LiveBinders, we have added a few more features:

Private Copyable Binder – Now you can create a private binder that can be copied.  This is useful if you want to make a master binder for students to copy, but not have that binder open to the public.

New Sharing Options – There is now a button to add a binder link directly to your Plurk account.  We also added a Facebook “Like” button to the sharing options.  The Facebook Like button will add the binder link to your “Recent Activity” section on your wall in Facebook.  The counter will also help you judge how many others liked that binder.

Some of Our Favorite Binder Builders

Every day we enjoy going to the LiveBinders site too see what people have created.  More and more we are seeing great binder authors who have created entire libraries of incredibly useful content.  I wanted to take just a minute to draw your attention to some of these amazing educators:

xmath – xmath has created some amazing binders on everything from on-line calculators to binders on different holidays (including pi day!)

joquetta – joquetta is a library media specialist who has created some fabulous binders for her students, including putting her Library Media Center up there.  But her binder on Google is also one of the most popular.

robertson8686 – Another great binder builder who has created everything from math binders on the Pythagorean Theorem to Presentation tools.

kellyhines – kellyhines has created some really interesting binders including the use of Skype in schools and a binder on hurricanes.

2sparkley – 2parkley has some fabulous resources on creative commons, great blogs, presentation resources, and the list goes on and on!

mwedwards – Sometimes known as the “Livebinder Queen” because she is such an authority on LiveBinders, Melissa’s shelf includes binders on presentation resources, a binder on Google Earth, and Media 2.0.

dmantz – Dean not only has great binders, but has also done a couple of podcasts with us.  Great binders on Digital Storytelling, Website Creation, and Virtual Connections.

mikefisher821 – Mike has created some wonderful binders including a Virtual Summer Camp for educators and Evidence of Learning.  But every time we go to his shelf we see something new and fascinating.

TheresaMcGee – Theresa has created some great art binders.  Her Online Art Games binder is one of the most popular, but she has also created resources on Leonardo da Vinci and Jacob Lawrence.

loakvik – loakvik has created one of the most popular binders in the past month – Mobile Apps for Education but her binder on Student Motivation Research is also worth checking out.

sroseman – sroseman’s great library includes in-depth teacher resources on twitter and the best of ISTE10.

teachagiftedkid – teachagiftedkid has created some great resources on math for elementary grade students, but her binders extend well beyond math.

librarybecky – librarybecky only has a few binders, but they are amazing resources on Civil War Biographies and Web 2.0 projects created by her students.

dj345 – dj345 created a great binder this summer on summer reading.  But she also has binders on Earth Day, reindeer, and snow!

scheeler – scheeler has created couple of great binders including his incredibly popular Ed Tech Tools, but also one of my favorites – Edgar Allan Poe.

s1mpl1fy – These are some amazing math binders on everything from Writing Equations to Polygons, to Solving Systems by Graphing.

vmizner – It is amazing when someone builds a many great binders all in one day.  These are some great high-school chemistry resources.

swimtchr – swimtchr has created a diverse set of binders with everything from Note Taking Tools to Principal Leadership.

lthurber@mac.com – With over 31 public binders, it is hard to know where to start.  You might find some of her more unusual binders most interesting including Robot Research, Renewable Energy, and Great Apes, but she also has some great history binders on Ancient Rome and Japan.

colleen young – Colleen has some impressive binders on Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, Equations, and Wordle

evmaiden – evmaiden has a very complete SMART resources binder as well a great binder on Promethean Resources.

ezzellk – For younger grade teachers, ezzellk has a binder on Pre-K resources and one on Iceland.

Lesley – Lesley’s Web 2.0 Tools binder is very popular, but she also has great binders on Reference Sites and History Topics

chanbliss – Here are some wonderful binders in the art discipline including Art Edu Sites and a really interesting binder on a Fifth Grade Quilting project.

There are so many more great authors, we will have to do several more posts to cover them all.  If you discover one you like, just click on their name in LiveBinders to see their public shelf.  Then add it to the comments on this post so that everyone can see their great binders.

LiveBinders Selected for AASL’s Top 25 List

The American Association of School Librarians has selected LiveBinders as one of their Top 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning.

Here is what they said about LiveBinders:  “This fun and easy-to-use site makes it easy to organize and share sources. Teachers can use it as a presentation tool, plan an interactive lesson, or engage with students on the research process.”

The Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Award honors websites, tools and resources of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. The recognized websites foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover. The sites were announced during the ALA’s Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, June 27, 2010.

Here is a binder with all the winners: