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

 

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

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!

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!

Some Libraries You Just Have to See

Tina and I are always awestruck at the amazing binders that are assembled by the LiveBinders’ community. I know lots of teachers who search for binders first before trying to create their own lesson plans. I thought I would take a minute to showcase some of the amazing teachers, principals, educational consultants, technology coordinators, and librarians who have created whole libraries of great binders. I’m including twitter ids for the ones that I know so that you can follow them on twitter too. Please comment on any that I have missed!

I have to start with Karen Bolotin @kbkonnected who has over 75 excellent binders. She teaches at the elementary level and provides amazing resources for teachers around the world.

Toby Price is an assistant principal who has a love of Apple products. Check out his Apps for students, parents, teachers, and administrators. He also has great resources on MAPs and Autism. Follow him at @teachersharetp.

Steven Anderson is very well known in the educational technology community, follow him at @web20classroom. An expert on social media in the classroom, his binders on QR codes in Education, An Educator’s Guide to Twitter, Google+ for Educators, and Staying Safe Online are not to be missed!

Michael Fisher owns the distinction of having the most viewed binder on the site – iPads in Schools. A nationally certified teacher and instructional coach, Michael is pushing for great change in education. He has fabulous resources on student-centered learning including: The Digigogical Matrix, Curriculum Transformations, and Social Justice LIVE! are just a few of his excellent binders. Follow him at @fisher100.

Though I’ve never spoken with wisermar and don’t know her twitter name (though I suspect that it may be Mary Wiser @wisemar) I have a deep admiration for the library that she has created which includes a great binder on the U.S. Constitution, lots of US and world history resources, but also fun binders like the Halloween binder that we recently added to the featured page.

Justin Stallings’ Library is growing quickly. He has created great social studies binders including one on the 2012 Presidential Election. His other binders focus on natural disasters, including Tornadoes, Hurricanes, and Earthquakes. (Hmm, makes me wonder if there is a tie-in between the 2012 election and natural disasters.) 🙂 Follow him at @justinstallings.

I’m going to mention two great librarians together here, Joquetta Johnson @accordin2jo and Carolyn Jo Starkey @carolynstarkey. Both have created great resources for their schools and resources that librarians around the world have found incredibly useful.

@2sparkley has built a library almost as large as KBConnected. She has many great resources that include both holidays and technology like Presentation Resources, Podcasting, Creative Commons, and Mother’s Day.

Ugh! Two that I forgot from my initial post: Angela Cunningham (@kyteacher). She has created a simply amazing collection of world history and social studies resources! Tia Cooper (@techwithtia) has created some of the best ed-tech resources out there with Winning Webquests, 100+ STEM Websites & Tools for Teachers, and “If It’s Not Free! It’s Not For Me!”.

I just stumbled upon another great author tonight, Shannon Long has put together some really creative binders including Angry Bird in the Classroom and the Cookie Challenge. I couldn’t find a twitter address for Shannon, but here is her blog: http://technologyrocksseriously.blogspot.com/

One more that I forgot about is Tina Holland’s Library. She has built some great science and technology binders and also has her own LiveBinder portfolio.

Ok, I stumbled across another great library tonight, Linda Kellim has also built some great science and technology binders.

Those are just a few, please let me know which great LiveBinders authors that you have found on the site!

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

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.