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 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.

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 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.

Organize Success Podcast: Two College Instructors Share How They Use LiveBinders to Optimize Student Learning

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.

Image of LiveBinders Success Podcast with John Dahlgren and Peggy Hohensee
LiveBinders Organize Success Podcast with John Dahlgren and Peggy Hohensee

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.

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.

Organize Success Podcast: Elizabeth Kahn and Success in Preserving History

How One Librarian Made a Difference

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.

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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.  

Listen to this podcast on:

iTunes

PodBean

LiveBinders

Organize Success Podcast: Fred Cochran and his UDL Toolkit Binder

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.

Episode #1 – Success in Universal Design for Learning – Fred Cochran’s UDL Toolkit Binder

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.

Podcast-UDL-Cover

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
    • Gilligan’s Island and the 3-hour tour
    • How to use time as a participation tool
  • Fred’s LiveBinder editing tips
    • Using color intentionally
    • Using tab organization to unveil the context
    • Adding voice to the binder 

This  link will take you to the podcast recording located in Fred’s UDL Binder.

You will  have the option to listen to the podcast from our Youtube or Podbean link depending on your preference. The podcast will soon be available on iTunes and Spotify. Enjoy!

Videoconference Etiquette during COVID-19 and beyond

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.

Etiquette binder-2

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 support@livebinders.com.  We are always happy to help.

Stay safe and productive!

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.

Nominate a binder for the 2013 Top 10 Contest!

It’s that time of year again when you get to share with us a binder that you found really helpful or influential to you or your class. For the nominating process, first you share with us those helpful binders and then we will have a short voting period. When you nominate a binder, please describe why you are nominating the binder and we will add that to the voting binder for people to view.

Winners will receive a Top 10 label on their binder, have their binder posted on the Top 10 shelf, and receive bookmarks featuring their binder with a QR code for sharing. We would also like to give our winners an opportunity to share their insights and motivations for their binder when we make the announcement this year.

We look forward to seeing all the great LiveBinders you’ve used this year.

To make your nomination, please click on this Nomination binder:

Feel free to enter any number of binders from different categories (educational or other) – just be sure to share with us why you are nominating the binders.

Let the praise begin!

Nominate Your Top 10 Binders for 2012!

It’s that time of year again when we let you decide which of the great binders you used this year makes it on the Top 10 List. Last year we had 29 entries out of over 100,000 public binders. We look forward to seeing all the great LiveBinders you’ve used this year.

To make your nomination, please visit our Top Ten page.

Be sure to check out last year’s 10 winners on that page.

Feel free to enter any number of binders from different categories (educational or other) – just be sure to share with us why you are nominating the binders.

Let the praise begin!

And the winners are…

First, congratulations to all of the 29 LiveBinder entries – out of over 100,000 binders, your binders were selected as a Top 10 Contender and that’s worth mentioning!  And to our Top 10 Favorite LiveBinder winners – double Congratulations are in order!!

For Barbara and I, it was so much fun to see the good sportsmanship carried out on twitter as all of you tried to engage people to participate.  We both had a good laugh when @mfisher1000 decided to take on the 3rd graders in @mthornton’s class. Who thought it would get that heated?

I think the main point to take a way from all of this is how useful your binders have been to people.  In this day and age where the internet is getting overwhelmingly bombarded with information – its nice to have people you trust and respect sort through content in a meaningful way.  We love the polished way in which these binders were carefully created. 

To honor all of the 2011 Top 10 binders, we’ve provided badges for your home pages and mini-badges that will appear next to your binder icons on your shelves and will also appear within your binders. We will email you your website badges shortly and your mini-badges should start showing up on your shelves and binders immediately.  Below are the Top 10 Favorite Binders – Congratulations everyone! 

Tina and Barbara

The LiveBinders community recently nominated and voted for their top ten LiveBinders. Here are the winners:

1. Michael Thornton’s

2. KB Konnected’s

3. Mike Fisher’s

4. Steven Anderson’s

5. Christopher Stefanski’s

6. Michelle Green’s

7. Marianne Griffith’s

8. Ann Marie Kennedy’s

9. Toby Price’s

10. Steven Anderson’s