Success with Telehealth and Online Binders

Esther Benons and Dana Yousef – our latest guests on the Organize Success Podcast. Click to listen.

In our latest Organize Success podcast, Linda Houle and I welcome LiveBinders’ curators Dana Yousef and Esther Benons from an innovative healthcare company called MEDZED.  

MEDZED works with high-need patients within the comfort of their own homes.  Dana and Esther talk about MEDZED’s innovative approach to in-person and virtual care. They also share the clever way they use LiveBinders to keep both their nursing staff and their patients connected and informed through their online binders.

I love their cutting edge approach to health care and think that you will find that aspect of their practice very inspiring!  Also, for those of you who are in the midst of trying to manage resources and empower your colleagues and trainees, I think you will find their creative approach to integrating LiveBinders with Microsoft Teams very insightful.

Please click on this link to access podcast and referenced resources including the podcast transcript.

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.

Online Binders Help S.A.L.T Consultants Deliver Value to Parents

In our recently released Success podcast Patti Shrom and her collaborator Michelle Cadle from S.A.L.T Resource Solutions talk about the process of delivering an overwhelming amount of curated information that parents rely on to help them transition their teen with special needs to life after high school graduation.

What they needed was a tool that could manage and display a variety of online content like web pages, storage drive folder links, video URLs and PDF files all in one easy to navigate format, but without the burden of having to create a custom website to organize it all. They also didn’t want to just display links down a page that would burden their parents to scroll through hundreds of URLs in order to find what they need, and without much context to guide them.

LiveBinders’ platform uses a pre-formated, tabular hierarchy that can display a variety of content within a contained environment we call a binder. With just one URL, Patti and Michelle can provide their parents with a single point of access to all of their curated content. They use the first level of tabs to label main category headings that guide parents to the resources they are looking for. It also gives them the ability to quickly add content to each tab, making it immediately accessible and ready to be shared. To the parents, the binder becomes an intuitively simple way to find their resources in one location. Its navigation stays consistently the same no matter how much content is added; something their parents rely on when they return to the binder over and over again.

In this 3 minute video clip below, Patti and Michelle share their S.A.L.T binder and how they deliver all of their workshop, speaker, and government resources using LiveBinders.

The podcast resources, transcript and full podcast recording and video are available in our podcast binder at this link.

If your organization is looking for a solution to your document sharing challenges, contact us for a demo on our contact page.

Digital Binders And S.A.L.T Resource Solutions, LLC

“I don’t know how to explain it, but we as a parent, you’re like, well, maybe they’ll outgrow this or maybe something will change or this or that. You know, there’s like so many what-ifs and you kind of put things off until you realize it. When it’s not happening, you have to step in and do something. And that’s when you get the panic calls.”

Patti Shrom is the founder of S.A.L.T Resources Solutions. S.A.L.T stands for Student to Adult Life Transition, and in this clip from our Success podcast she highlights the overwhelming feeling parents get when they start to realize how lost they can be as they try to navigate all the forms and processes that are required to transition their teen with disabilities to the adult support system.

Andrea Harker, the School to Work Employment Specialist with the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities, joins Patti to share the types of services S.A.L.T can provide and how starting as early as freshman year can make the transition manageable and successful for both parents and teens.

You’ll also learn how LiveBinders plays an important part in how Patti and her collaborator Michelle Cadle organize all the up-to-date county resources, S.A.L.T speaker handouts and a variety of documentation so that parents can easily access them from one central digital binder.

Please click here to listen to this Podcast episode and access referenced resources including the podcast transcript.

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 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.

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: 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!

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!

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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.

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!

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CESA9 Family Engagement Binder 

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WSPEI 2017-2018 

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RSDSS Region 6 Family

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Sample Parent Ambassador Toolkit