UNLIKELY HEROES DEFINE SUCCESS

Role models inspire us in a positive way. Children’s first role models are their parents and caretakers, and as they grow, they look to others to inspire them.  We look to those who have overcome social, economic, cultural, or physical challenges to reach goals they’ve set out for themselves.

In our LiveBinders podcast, Success in the Deaf and Blind Communities, Chris Tabb, Mobility Specialist at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, talked about finding inspirational people who have overcome hardships in his online binder: Role Models: Blind and Deafblind. He created the binder to provide blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind students, and their parents, information about people with similar disabilities — many of whom have gone on to achieve great success in their careers all while living independent lives. What is revealing about this insight is that these role models are inspirational for all of us.

I love what Susie Tiggs, Texas Statewide Lead for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services said about their students:  “And so, you know, deaf doesn’t mean can’t, blind doesn’t mean can’t. Deafblind doesn’t mean can’t. It’s different.”

Follow the link below to learn more about these amazing role models..

https://www.livebinders.com/b/2697227

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Sharing a S.A.L.T Student Success Story

Last month we shared a recent podcast about Patti Shrom and Andrea Harker’s work with S.A.L.T. – the Student to Adult Life Transition organization that helps teens with disabilities transition to adult life after high school graduation. In this short clip from the podcast, Andrea shares a wonderful success story about one of her students and all of the steps that were taken to make that transition work for her. The S.A.L.T Resource binder, and Patti Shrom’s company S.A.L.T Resource Solutions website are linked in the Podcast binder below.

Link to our Podcast binder and all the resources shared from the Podcast.

Digital Binders and Accessibility

In our recently released Success Podcast, Susie Tiggs and Chris Tabb shared their feedback on the accessibility and responsiveness of LiveBinders to help their Texas visually impaired students with the ability to access online content. It is essential for them that an online tool or app provide the necessary features for the success of engaging online content with whatever technology they are using.

Digital binders can be a useful framework that helps curators package accessible content in a way that makes it easier for stakeholders to navigate. Check out this short, 3 minute clip from our podcast to learn more.

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 Digital Literacy

Susan Brooks-Young started sharing resources on digital literacy back in 2011 in her online digital binder called: Building Blocks for Digital Citizenship. Initially the subject occupied a single tab titled “Truth Matters” where Susan shared teaching resources to help students learn how to differentiate authentic information from fabrication.

9 years later and it is clear that it isn’t just our students who face this challenge. Everyday on trusted apps and websites, consumers are bombarded with an array of truths, misinformation and now a new term: disinformation. Most of us don’t have the skill set to recognize the differences between them. And as my podcast co-host Linda and I learned, the social implications are just the tip of the iceberg.

It is no surprise that the demand for Susan’s digital literacy resources grew. That single tab became an entire online binder: Truth Matters – Digital Literacy in the Post-Truth Era, and then the supporting material for her new book: The Media-Savvy Middle School Classroom: Strategies for Teaching Against Disinformation, and finally her new website: MediaLiteracyToday. All three resources work together to support educators who need to teach this vital skill.

Please join Linda Houle and I as we learn how LiveBinders was exactly what Susan needed to organize her resources. We also dive into the topic of misinformation vs disinformation, why fake news isn’t even news , and how we can all recognize our own echo chambers.

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!

Remote Learning Assistance during COVID-19 and Beyond

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all of you who have taken the big step of social distancing to help all of us #flattenthecurve of the COVID19 virus.  It is proving to be the best course of action.  We also want to send our thanks and support to the doctors, nurses and caretakers who are risking their lives to save the infected.

Remote Learning Toolkit

The Remote Learning Toolkit is a fantastic, and timely, binder for those who are looking for free tools on how to get your remote classroom started. You’ll find templates for online attendance records, free online planning tools, whiteboards and chat applications.  Please feel free to use and copy Stella Maris Berdaxagar’s Remote Learning Toolkit Binder. This is a great example of app smashing at its best.

remotelearningtoolkit-stella

COVID19 Explained

In terms of your knowledge of the virus and what it means to you, please take a moment to read this  article.   Written in very clear terms, it helps explain what is going on with the virus, how the data can guide us on the best course of action and what you can expect to happen in the immediate future.  It is worth reading and is very powerful.  Please share it with others.

Medium-article
Click on Image to launch article.

Sending safety and healing to all of you from all of us at LiveBinders.

View at Medium.com

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!

smbarnyresolutionbinder
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.

Increase Parent Involvement

Effective Organization of Content Helps Family Engagement Initiatives

At LiveBinders, we are lucky to be exposed to so many great resources and to hear from our users about the work they do to elevate student learning.  Last month I saw binders by our members Evelyn Azbell and Fred Cochran, who both happened to be coordinating Family engagement projects. I was impressed with how they organized their binders – the time they took to get it ‘right’. It occurred to me that part of the reason we should take the time to organize our content is to make sure our readers are engaged.  After all, everything we do is to make sure our audience ‘gets it’. Evelyn and Fred’s carefully curated binders not only caught my attention, but I learned something new upon examination of their binders. Here are some of my observations on what I found so intriguing.

Evelyn Azbell of @cesa9_families and @parenteducatorconnection is a Family Engagement Coordinator in Northern Wisconsin.  Her binders provide direct access to hard-to-find resources such as grant schedules, program documentation, and other important information.  The resources have always been available for anyone to access, but Evelyn has put her own curated guidance on those resources.

evelyn azbell_Cesa9binder

I like the use of the subtle dark grey sub tabs between the red main tabs and the black base tabs that stay consistent with CESA9 colors – also gotta love that red!

In her WSPEI binder below, Evelyn takes advantage of 3rd party web applications to make her binders more inclusive for her viewers. There is more than one way to get access to her documents. If you are responsive to the infographic model, you can click on resources laid out on a Padlet page she has added to the main tab of her binder. Or you can grab the same resources from a Google folder she has linked inside of the binder in a tile format.  In addition, if you prefer the tab layout, each resource is also provided in its own tab or sub tabs of the binder. In other words, her audience will be able to find what they need in their preferred viewing format.

evelyn azbell_wisconsinSPEI-pdlet

Using Padlets as an additional visual map to resources is a fun way to make your binder interactive for your audiences’ diverse range of skill sets.

Fred Cochran @cochran_fred  is a Coordinator for San Joaquin County Office of Education and an instructor for Teachers College San Joaquin @TeachCollegeSJ. He has been providing training resources to help schools in his district start their own Family Engagement programs.  What struck me initially was the order in which he shares his resources, making it easy for his busy team to find what they need quickly. Anything new that is added to the binder can be found in the Newly Added Resource tab.

RSDSS Region 6 Family engagement

Fred carefully chooses his tab linear layout to keep his busy staff up-to-date on resources to share

It later occurred to Fred that he could create a template binder that other school districts could use to start their own Family Engagement initiative. In the example below, he has created placeholders for a district’s documentation, including any resources that are in Spanish.  For each main tab, he carefully crafted headers in a colorful image format with explanations of what each section is about.

Family engagement template_headers

In Fred’s Sample Parent Ambassador binder, he provides headers like this one in each main section to help guide the new Parent Ambassador. He also added placeholder sub tabs for Spanish version documents

If you are sharing resources across your state, feel free to review these binders as a model for your own design. Thank you Evelyn and Fred for sharing your hard work with us!

cesa9

CESA9 Family Engagement Binder 

wspei2017-2018

WSPEI 2017-2018 

Family binder icon

RSDSS Region 6 Family

Family binder icon

Sample Parent Ambassador Toolkit

 

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!

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.