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

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.

10 More Great ways Educators are using LiveBinders

Everyday Barbara and I enjoy checking out the ‘recent’ Featured shelf on our website and continue to find so many interesting and creative ways in which educators are organizing their resources.  We thought it was time to highlight another 10 great binders for you to enjoy.

Virtual Summer Camp

User ‘mikefisher821’ – created the Virtual Summer Camp binder for teachers who are looking to improve their Web 2.0 skills, and look for inspiring online lectures and resources for teaching.  He also created a comprehensive web 2.0 resource binder called ‘Evidence of Learning 2.0’.  It is a fabulous collection of web 2.o applications broken down by category.

Mrs. Knight’s English Binder

Our user ‘bknight’ created a 9th grade English class binder for both students and parents.  She uses googledocs to create a syllabus and surveys.  When she updates her googledocs syllabus, it will automatically update in her livebinder.  The combination of googledocs with livebinders provides flexibility for the teacher who wants a collection of documents organized by context, and yet accessible anytime for editing without having to worry about re-uploading documents.

Sailing Camp LiveBinder

User ‘rlaffey’ put a complete course of information for his summer camp sailing program.  Students are able to access information online at anytime during the course instruction.  ‘Rlaffey’ organized videos and handouts throughout the binder.

MCA Orientation Binder

Our user ‘mcalibrary’ created an excellent resource binder for staff members who are relocating to Taiwan.  They put together a comprehensive resource on local transportation, english language support networks, television stations, tourist sites, language resources and a history of Taiwan.

Learning History by creating a Travel Binder
Speaking of travel guide, teacher ‘MrsB’ created a fantastic binder course for 1st – 5th graders where they were to team up with partners and plan a trip to a particular country.  The idea is to get them to create a scenario where they have to travel to this country and then document what they visited.  In her binder below, she provided guidelines, handouts and resources that help the students with their projects.  I’ve included her binder below plus one of the student example binders.

Conference Presentation Binder

‘Dmantz7’ used livebinders as a way to present conference material in an organized format in the binder.  He addresses unique 21st century issues with examples of tools that teachers can use for their classroom.  He also provides guidelines on how to use some of the web 2.0 tools he highlights.  Its a great resource for teachers and also another example of how to use livebinders as a presentation tool.

Everyday Barbara and I enjoy checking out the ‘recent’ Featured livebinders shelf on our website and continue to find so many interesting and creative ways in which educators are organizing their resources.  We thought it was time to highlight some of those binders to you.

User mikefisher821 – created the Virtual Summer Camp binder for teachers who are looking to improve their Web 2.0 skills, look for online lectures and resources for teaching. He’s collected a great number of video resources, online lectures and websites that caters to teachers wanting to freshen up on their skills.  It is basically a virtual summer camp at your fingertips.

Virtual Summer Camp
<div style=”width:75px;height:78px;background-image:url(‘http://www.livebinders.com/images/binder_straightened.gif&#8217;);border:0;margin-top:4px;background-repeat:no-repeat;”>    <a href=”http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=17616″>    <img src=”http://open.thumbshots.org/image.pxf?url=http://livebinders.com/media/get/MTIzMDY5&#8243; style=”width:60px;height:60px;border:0;margin:14px 0 0 11px;padding:0;” />    </a>    </div>    <div><a href=”http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=17616″>Virtual Summer Camp</a><br /></div>

Mrs.Knight’s English Binder

Our user ‘bknight’ created a 9th grade English class binder for both students and parents.  What I like about her binder is that she incorporates the flexibility of googledocs into her binders in appropriate ways.  For example, she has a welcome letter drafted to both the parents and students as well as a tab for a google doc survey.  The nice thing about using google docs and livebinders together is that you can edit your google docs remotely so that the latest updates or edits can appear on the document even though it is already linked in the binder.  It provides great flexibility for the teacher who wants everything organized in appropriate tabs, but also allows her to update her google docs from within the binder.
Mike’s Evidence of Learning 2.0

Shelf of 2sparkley

MCA Orientation Binder

Dean Mantz’s iCiL 2010 “Simplify Virtually” presontation –
<div style=”width:75px;height:78px;background-image:url(‘http://www.livebinders.com/images/binder_straightened.gif&#8217;);border:0;margin-top:4px;background-repeat:no-repeat;”>    <a href=”http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=16713″>    <img src=”http://open.thumbshots.org/image.pxf?url=http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYJccUMtDzncZGZ2OHgyYl8yMzJmbWd4cjdjYw&amp;hl=en&#8221; style=”width:60px;height:60px;border:0;margin:14px 0 0 11px;padding:0;” />    </a>    </div>    <div><a href=”http://livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=16713″&gt; iCiL 2010 “Simplify Virtually” preso</a><br /></div>

Sailing binder

Science Links

‘Jmayo’ put together a great collection of science virtual worlds and interactive online programs in the subject of live sciences.  There are some very fun and immersive environments that students will enjoy exploring and coming away learning something about the world they live in.

Poetry Pathfinders

User ‘arosheim’ created a lovely binder for kindergarten to 5th grade students to learn more about poetry.   Each tab is organized by grades and includes sub-tabs with links to poetry examples and exercises that are grade appropriate.

LiveBinder Shelf of 2sparkley

User ‘2sparkley’ has created an enormous resource of  great information for teachers in all subject areas.  Instead of focusing on one binder, we are sharing her entire library of public binders in this link to her livebinder public shelf.  Resources include useful links to math and english subjects, safety on the web, word clouds and virtual worlds.

http://www.livebinders.com/shelf/search?search=&terms=2sparkley&type=1

Here are some more examples.

More Sharing Features Added to LiveBinders

We have added a few new features to LiveBinders:

Share a shelf – You can easily share an author’s collection of public binders. Just click on the author’s name (or your name) under a binder, you will then see their shelf page with all their public binders. On the right will be a url that you can send to anyone:

Add description to profile – You can now add a description to your profile with your website or blog link. This description will show up when someone clicks on your name:

Private binders identified – You can now see at a glance which of your binders are private on your “My Binders” shelf. They will be identified with this “Private” icon:

Easier to upload files – We have made the file upload interface easier to use.  Although we support uploading multiple file types, pdfs and .jpgs are the ones that will show up inside the browser most reliably.  Microsoft Office file types will only show up inside the binder in Internet Explorer.

Thank you to the LiveBinders users who reported bugs and requested features! Please continue to let us know how to make LiveBinders better for you.

Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

We had two teachers develop binders this month to help their student think critically when researching information on the web:

Research Skills & Climate Change

Read Beth’s blog post on this binder.

You may also want to check out our recent blog post: “10 Great Ways that Educators are using LiveBinders”.

10 Great Ways that Educators are Using LiveBinders

It is so much fun to go to the LiveBinders site and see all the new ways that educators are using LiveBinders to curate content.  Every day that I go to the site I see a new interesting binder, so I thought it would be great to highlight some great examples in this post:

  1. ePortfolios – I think Jackie Gerstein created one of the first ePortfolios on LiveBinders and it continues to be one of the best:
  2. Computer Lab – Are you always finding more sites that you want to share in the computer lab? If you keep them in a LiveBinder, the students will always have access to your latest finds, like this one created by ‘dboyd’:
  3. Administration – Sometimes there is an event at school (like state testing) where the information changes constantly. In this case, it is helpful to have all relevant information in one place, where everybody can access it. This binder from ‘mstoraasli’ is a great example:
  4. Library – This is a great Library Media Center binder from ‘joquetta’ who has clearly done an excellent job organizing all this information:
  5. Student Assignments – One class grouped together all of their drawings in a LiveBinder for an interesting puzzle cube assignment:
  6. Collecting things to read – How do you organize all those great links from tweets so that you can find them later when you need them?  Mary Johnson organized her reading material in this LiveBinder and was kind enough to make it public so that the rest of us can read these great articles, too:
  7. Preparing for lessons – ‘xmath’ put together this great binder for teaching kids about upcoming Veteran’s Day:
  8. Posting course materials – This binder on the “Introduction to Internet” from ‘peterclearly’ organizes all the course materials neatly into tabs and subtabs:
  9. Sharing resources – A group of 25 teachers were all collecting separate links.  By using the same account, they combined all their links into one binder, so they could quickly gain access to all the latest sites.
  10. Best resources on a subject – Teresa McGee’s ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ binder, Colleen Young’s ‘Wordle – educational uses’ Binder, and Sheeler’s Edgar Allan ‘Poe’ binder are all excellent examples of collecting the best resources on a subject:
  11. Fun – Ok, I know I was going to stop at 10, but who says binders are all work and no play? I loved Nancy Devine’s collection of ‘Pumpkin Recipes’:

Here are some more examples.

A Library of LiveBinders for Teachers

Educators have been creating some great LiveBinders that are excellent resources for other educators. We thought we would pull them together in this wiki as a Library of LiveBinders organized by subject and grade level. We would love to hear your input on other ways to organize these great binders.

Please take a look at this wiki and let us know your thoughts.

Also, here are some tips and tricks for those of you who are building LiveBinders to share with others:

Student Goals

Mr. Lester has been busy figuring out new ways to use binders in his teaching. He recently came up with the idea of using private binders for student-parent-teacher communication. A private binder can have the student’s individual goals in a place where everyone can find them. The binder can have websites and materials designed to help that student reach their goals.

We can’t show you examples of these binders because they are private. But here some more of Mr. Lester’s well-organized public binders:

Creative Teaching with LiveBinders

Mr. Lester has made some great binders. If you haven’t seen them, some are included below. But he has also thought of other ideas for using LiveBinders to help his students. Here are some of Mr. Lester’s ideas:

  1. Bookmarking – I am using livebinders now as a tool to give parents websites that they can use to help further their child’s education at home. I am hoping to add other binders with different content presentations to allow a child to view content explained in a different way then their classroom teacher.
  2. Blog/Review – Using the Text/Web layout students and teachers can blog about current websites that a viewer can see next to their thoughts.
  3. Personal Journal – The livebinders can be a great spot to upload thoughts in a tab/subtab system.
  4. Student Response Journals – Using the text to text layout a student can go over chapters of a story and place key information and questions.
  5. Portfolio – Students can collect their work and have a digital portfolio using all layouts in a livebinder.
  6. E-learning – Students can have homework assignments based on web research that the teacher provides in a text to web layout. The teacher can have a worksheet printout available in the subtab.

Thank you for sharing your great ideas Mr. Lester!

Here are just a few of Mr. Lester’s great binders. You can find more on our site by using the search box at the top and searching by Author for “Mr.Lester”.