Writing down New Year Resolutions

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.

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Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

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.

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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!

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New Year’s Resolution Binder by Stella Maris Berdaxagar

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. 

You’re welcome to schedule a LiveBinders demo here.

This blog post is based on a personal project I have started about organization skills and learning in the digital age.  I’m always inspired by the cool binders I find on our Featured Binders page.

Our iPad App V1.4 is Now Available on iTunes

Our iPad app V 1.4 offers a few new features.LiveBinders iPad App V1.4

  • You can now search for binders from within the app.  Just select “Search” from the main menu.  This will allow you to find other people’s binders and add them to your shelf using the “Add” menu option in the upper right of the binder.
  • You can now upload a single image from your iPad Photo Library directly to your binder.
  • You can now select multiple images to upload to the Upload Manager.
  • If you are trying to view documents that require a separate log-in,  you can now log into 3rd party accounts using the “Web Access” feature on the Main Menu page.  It is already set to “gmail.com” so you can log into your Drive account by default, but you can also type in any other website as well.
  • You can set your profile picture from your iPad.  Go to “Settings” from the Main menu and select “Profile page.”  Then click on the “+” icon at the top to add a photo from your iPad Photo Library.
  • You can get instructions on how to add LiveBinder It to your iPad’s Safari browser from “Settings.”

Upgrade your app here:

http://www.livebinders.com/welcome/app?showsubtab=app

An Easier Way to Add Embed Codes

We now have an easier way to add embed codes to a binder. This feature was a personal one for me.  I archive the links from the #PATUE chat each week and whenever I got a video or Slideshare presentation, I would just groan.  It took too many steps to insert the embed codes from these applications in a LiveBinder which was distracting me from the thought-provoking chat – so I just had to fix it. Embed codes were so hard to use that our friend scling created a whole series of binders on this very subject.

But now, we have a much better way to insert embed codes, whether it is from YouTube, Slideshare, Prezi, or any of the other great applications scling has in his binders.  Now you just grab the embed code, create a new tab, and insert the embed code under Add Content > Add Other Content > Embed Code.

The only limitation is that we can’t use embed codes that have javascript, so, sadly, we can’t embed Pinterest boards yet.

Adding embed codes

Here is a binder that shows some of the embed codes that you can use.

Before we had this feature, you had to edit html to add embed codes, which was really hard to explain to people who are not very technical. So this should make it easier for everyone – including me!  What can we do to make LiveBinders easier for you to use? Write a comment on this post or send an email to feedback@livebinders.com.

An Easier Way to Change Your Binder Cover

We are always trying to make the process of creating and editing binders smoother and easier for you. We’ve had a lot of input that changing the binder cover was not intuitive, so we have redesigned that interface to make it easier to upload a binder cover or to pick a fun Flickr image to use.

For those of you who are used to having to put your binder cover’s image in a tab first, that is no longer necessary.  Just click on “Binder Settings” and then “Update Binder Cover” and use one of the options from that menu.

Selecting a Binder Cover

Here is a quick video on how to change your binder cover:

 

Please let us know if this works for you. Also please let us know if you think of other ways that we can make binder building a smoother process!

I’ll have those tabs on the side please!

We have had many, many requests to have those tabs on the side instead of on the top.  Well we now are pleased to announce that now you can have it your way!

Select the view of your binder with a pull-down “View” at the top.  We will soon have sharing options available for tabs on the side, but for now, we would like you to try it out and tell us what you think.

Tabs on the side

Copy Tab is Finally Here!

So many of you have requested the ability to copy and paste a tab within a binder as well as to copy a tab from one binder to another, that we are very pleased to announce it is finally here!

Here is how it works. You must be in Edit Mode to copy or paste a tab. To copy a tab within an existing binder, just click on the tab menu.  You will see a “Copy Tab” option.

Then open the tab next to where you want to insert the copy and click on the tab menu again, this time using the “Paste Tab” option.

You can also copy tabs from one binder to another.  Start in the binder that you want to copy the tab from.  Open the tab you want to copy and click on the yellow arrow next to the tab name to bring up the tab menu.  Select “Copy Tab to Binder…”

You will see a familiar interface pop up.  This is the same interface as “LiveBinder It”.  It will let you copy that tab into an existing binder or create a new binder.

Thank you to everyone who requested this feature!  We know this is important for the power-binder-builders.  Please keep those requests coming, we know you would hate for us to run out of things to do.

🙂

LiveBinders Subscription is Here

Our individual subscription service is here!  LiveBinders Professional is now available for individuals who want a more secure way to store their uploaded documents in binders, increase their storage capacity, and upload larger file sizes.  Subscribers can now upload private documents, store up to 50GB of information, and upload files up to 25MB in size.

Even more exciting, we are offering a one month Introductory Offer for the month of September. Educators and students receive a 50% off of our pricing.

The existing LiveBinders Basic will continue to be available for everyone to use free of charge.

Changes to the LiveBinders Editing Feature

Previously, when the owner of a binder opened it, that binder would initially appear in edit mode. We’ve noticed that, often times, people open their binders to view or show the content, and would prefer not to be in editing mode by default.  So now, when you click on a binder you will go in viewing, instead of editing mode on that binder.  If you want to edit your binder, there are two ways to do that:

  1. From the shelf, as you mouse over your binder, you will see an edit menu. If you click on that button you will go directly to edit mode.
    Selecting edit from the shelf
  2. From inside the binder, you will see an “Edit” link in the upper right corner.  If you click on that link, it will take you into edit mode.Selecting edit from the player

We hope this makes it easier to interact with your binders. We always love to hear your feedback one way or another!

Hidden Feature – Link to a Specific Tab

Did you know that you can send someone a link to a specific tab in a binder? This feature is rather hidden, so here is the secret:

  1. With the tab that you wish to share open, click on “Share” in the upper right corner.
  2. Click on “Link or Embed”
  3. Click on “Show More Link/Embed Options”
    Show More Link/Embed Options
  4. Copy the link next to “Current Tab URL:”Current Tab URL
  5. You can paste this link into an email, facebook, or twitter.

New Version of LiveBinders iPad App

Our LiveBinders iPad app has been very popular and we love the input that everyone has given us on the app.  This version takes care of two of the most requested features:

  1. Display the app in both profile and landscape
  2. Edit/play/present binders from inside the app

We are still working on the app, so please keep those requests coming!

Multi-File Upload is Here!

click on My Uploaded Files to go to multi-file uploadOne of the huge advantages of using LiveBinders is the ability to upload files from your computer and combine them with web links in a single unified context. But, unfortunately, you had to upload one file at a time – until now!

To upload multiple files to LiveBinders, go to your “My Binders” page and click on “My Uploaded Files” on the dashboard.  This is where you can upload multiple files and as well as manage the files you have already uploaded.

Once you have uploaded files from that page, you can add them to your binders in one of two ways:

  1. On that same upload page, you can check the files you want to add and then click on the “Add To Binder…” link above the file list. This will open up multiple instances of “LiveBinder It” – one for each file.  (We know this interface is not perfect and we will improve it in future releases.)
    Add to binder link
  2. From inside your binder, go to Edit Menu > Insert Media > All My Tabs, and you can search for your files there. When you click on your file in this interface, it will be inserted in the current tab.
    Edit menu showing All My Tabs

Thank you to everyone who requested this feature!

The Hunt for “Clear Tab” is Over!

Speaking of our great community, I was on the phone the other day with one of our customers and she asked how to clear the content out of a tab.  I told her where to find the “clear” link and she said, “well that doesn’t belong there.”  She was right!  I’m so glad she brought that up. So we have moved “Clear tab contents” to where it belongs – under both the drop down tab menu and the edit tab menu pictured below:

We learn so much every time we talk to you. Thank you for being a great PLN!

LiveBinders on Your Website or Blog – A Couple More Options

We added a couple more features to LiveBinders over the weekend.  You can now embed an open binder in your blog or website (if your blog supports iframes). We also added a way to add a “LiveBinder It” button to your blog or website.

Embedding an Open Binder

If your blog supports iframes, you can now now add an open binder to your blog using some new embed code.  (This is a WordPress blog, so it is an example of a blog that doesn’t support iframes.) To find the embed code just select “Link or Embed” from the Share menu inside the binder:

Selecting the Embed Code

The last option is the new embed code for the open binder.  Just paste that into your blog or wiki where you would paste other embed codes.

The binder will be open in “Present” mode to make best use of the smaller space:

Example of an open binder in a blog

Adding a LiveBinder It Button

We also added an option to put a “LiveBinder It” button on your blog.  This will make it easier for people to add your blog posts to their binders.  This button can be found under Tools > Add LiveBinder It:

Showing Tools > Add LiveBinder It

Thank you to everyone who requested these features. We always appreciate hearing from you!

New Player/Editor Features are Live!

The new features listed below are now up on the LiveBinders site. But I forgot to mention one of the new features in my previous post. You can now add collaborators from inside the binder. Just click on the “Add” pull down in the upper right corner of the binder.

1. More Readable Tabs
The most significant change is that main tabs will now be of a variable width and will overflow to multiple rows. We had lots of requests from our community to make those tabs more visible and to have the overflow go to multiple rows. Please note: If you have really long tab names some of your existing binders may look very different. If there are too may lines of tabs, you may want to consider shortening some of the tab names.

2. More Share Options
We have moved all of the share options from the bottom of the binder to the top of the binder. This provides a cleaner look to your binder and lets us fit in more ways to share binders. We now include Pinterest and Google+ in the share options.

3. Better Rating System
We are switching our rating system over to “useful” instead of using the star rating system. With our old star rating system, it wasn’t clear how many people had rated the binder, so the stars didn’t provide enough information on the value of the binder to the community. We believe that seeing how many people find a binder useful will be an easier way to judge its potential value to you. We have added the ability to sort by the most useful binder ratings as well!

A big thanks to those of you in our community who suggested these enhancements. Also a big thanks to Dean Mantz, Dawn Wall, Mike Fisher, and Angela Cunningham for reviewing, refining, and testing these new features!

If you are teaching classes on LiveBinders, feel free to contact us at any time to find out what changes are in the works. We love hearing from you!

Changes to the Editor/Player on Their Way

We would like to share some more changes to LiveBinders that will be released in the next couple of weeks. We didn’t want to surprise those of you who are teaching classes on LiveBinders.

1. More Readable Tabs
The most significant change is that main tabs will now be of a variable width and will overflow to multiple rows. We had lots of requests from our community to make those tabs more visible and to have the overflow go to multiple rows. We are listening!

2. More Share Options
We have moved all of the share options from the bottom of the binder to the top of the binder. This provides a cleaner look to your binder and lets us fit in more ways to share binders. We now include Pinterest and Google+ in the share options.

3. Better Rating System
We are switching our rating system over to “useful” instead of using the star rating system. With our old star rating system, it wasn’t clear how many people had rated the binder, so the stars didn’t provide enough information on the value of the binder to the community. We believe that seeing how many people find a binder useful will be an easier way to judge its potential value to you. We have added the ability to sort by the most useful binder ratings as well!

A big thanks to those of you in our community who suggested these enhancements. Also a big thanks to Dean Mantz, Dawn Wall, and Mike Fisher for reviewing, refining, and testing these new features!

If you are teaching classes on LiveBinders, feel free to contact us at any time to find out what changes are in the works. We love hearing from you!