Android App

LiveBinder icon on the AdroidThe first version of our Android app is here!  It doesn’t do much yet, but the important thing is that you can now use ‘LiveBinder It’ on the Android. The two features of our app are:

  • Install ‘LiveBinder It’ in the share options of the Android
  • Install on icon on the desktop that allows you to launch LiveBinders in the browser

The app isn’t yet on the Google Marketplace, so you will need to download it from our site here.

Mutiple Line Text Titles

If you use the text feature in LiveBinders, you may have wished that you had more room in the title line.  Those titles used to scroll when you added more than one line.  We have changed things so that the titles can now be multiple lines and the title space will just expand to accommodate  the larger title. This only happens in play or present mode however.  You will still see the scroll bar when you are editing the title. Here is what it looks like in play mode:

This feature is very nice if you use “LiveBinder” It to add to your binders.  The text you type in the comment, will be added in that title space above the link:

Google Chrome App

We attended EdCampSFBay on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting new ones!  One of the things that we learned was that some schools were using Google Chrome Apps in the computer lab as an easy way for the kids to access applications.  So we decided that we better get our Chrome App up in the Google App Store.  Our app is now up there and it is a convenient way to access LiveBinders on Chrome.

LiveBinders at the Chrome App Store

If you decide to wander over to the Chrome App Store, we would really appreciate it if you gave LiveBinders a rating!

Changes to the LiveBinders Editing Feature

Previously, when the owner of a binder opened it, that binder would initially appear in edit mode. We’ve noticed that, often times, people open their binders to view or show the content, and would prefer not to be in editing mode by default.  So now, when you click on a binder you will go in viewing, instead of editing mode on that binder.  If you want to edit your binder, there are two ways to do that:

  1. From the shelf, as you mouse over your binder, you will see an edit menu. If you click on that button you will go directly to edit mode.
    Selecting edit from the shelf
  2. From inside the binder, you will see an “Edit” link in the upper right corner.  If you click on that link, it will take you into edit mode.Selecting edit from the player

We hope this makes it easier to interact with your binders. We always love to hear your feedback one way or another!

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!

Multi-File Upload is Here!

click on My Uploaded Files to go to multi-file uploadOne of the huge advantages of using LiveBinders is the ability to upload files from your computer and combine them with web links in a single unified context. But, unfortunately, you had to upload one file at a time – until now!

To upload multiple files to LiveBinders, go to your “My Binders” page and click on “My Uploaded Files” on the dashboard.  This is where you can upload multiple files and as well as manage the files you have already uploaded.

Once you have uploaded files from that page, you can add them to your binders in one of two ways:

  1. On that same upload page, you can check the files you want to add and then click on the “Add To Binder…” link above the file list. This will open up multiple instances of “LiveBinder It” – one for each file.  (We know this interface is not perfect and we will improve it in future releases.)
    Add to binder link
  2. From inside your binder, go to Edit Menu > Insert Media > All My Tabs, and you can search for your files there. When you click on your file in this interface, it will be inserted in the current tab.
    Edit menu showing All My Tabs

Thank you to everyone who requested this feature!

The Hunt for “Clear Tab” is Over!

Speaking of our great community, I was on the phone the other day with one of our customers and she asked how to clear the content out of a tab.  I told her where to find the “clear” link and she said, “well that doesn’t belong there.”  She was right!  I’m so glad she brought that up. So we have moved “Clear tab contents” to where it belongs – under both the drop down tab menu and the edit tab menu pictured below:

We learn so much every time we talk to you. Thank you for being a great PLN!

LiveBinders on Your Website or Blog – A Couple More Options

We added a couple more features to LiveBinders over the weekend.  You can now embed an open binder in your blog or website (if your blog supports iframes). We also added a way to add a “LiveBinder It” button to your blog or website.

Embedding an Open Binder

If your blog supports iframes, you can now now add an open binder to your blog using some new embed code.  (This is a WordPress blog, so it is an example of a blog that doesn’t support iframes.) To find the embed code just select “Link or Embed” from the Share menu inside the binder:

Selecting the Embed Code

The last option is the new embed code for the open binder.  Just paste that into your blog or wiki where you would paste other embed codes.

The binder will be open in “Present” mode to make best use of the smaller space:

Example of an open binder in a blog

Adding a LiveBinder It Button

We also added an option to put a “LiveBinder It” button on your blog.  This will make it easier for people to add your blog posts to their binders.  This button can be found under Tools > Add LiveBinder It:

Showing Tools > Add LiveBinder It

Thank you to everyone who requested these features. We always appreciate hearing from you!

New Player/Editor Features are Live!

The new features listed below are now up on the LiveBinders site. But I forgot to mention one of the new features in my previous post. You can now add collaborators from inside the binder. Just click on the “Add” pull down in the upper right corner of the binder.

1. More Readable Tabs
The most significant change is that main tabs will now be of a variable width and will overflow to multiple rows. We had lots of requests from our community to make those tabs more visible and to have the overflow go to multiple rows. Please note: If you have really long tab names some of your existing binders may look very different. If there are too may lines of tabs, you may want to consider shortening some of the tab names.

2. More Share Options
We have moved all of the share options from the bottom of the binder to the top of the binder. This provides a cleaner look to your binder and lets us fit in more ways to share binders. We now include Pinterest and Google+ in the share options.

3. Better Rating System
We are switching our rating system over to “useful” instead of using the star rating system. With our old star rating system, it wasn’t clear how many people had rated the binder, so the stars didn’t provide enough information on the value of the binder to the community. We believe that seeing how many people find a binder useful will be an easier way to judge its potential value to you. We have added the ability to sort by the most useful binder ratings as well!

A big thanks to those of you in our community who suggested these enhancements. Also a big thanks to Dean Mantz, Dawn Wall, Mike Fisher, and Angela Cunningham for reviewing, refining, and testing these new features!

If you are teaching classes on LiveBinders, feel free to contact us at any time to find out what changes are in the works. We love hearing from you!

Changes to the Editor/Player on Their Way

We would like to share some more changes to LiveBinders that will be released in the next couple of weeks. We didn’t want to surprise those of you who are teaching classes on LiveBinders.

1. More Readable Tabs
The most significant change is that main tabs will now be of a variable width and will overflow to multiple rows. We had lots of requests from our community to make those tabs more visible and to have the overflow go to multiple rows. We are listening!

2. More Share Options
We have moved all of the share options from the bottom of the binder to the top of the binder. This provides a cleaner look to your binder and lets us fit in more ways to share binders. We now include Pinterest and Google+ in the share options.

3. Better Rating System
We are switching our rating system over to “useful” instead of using the star rating system. With our old star rating system, it wasn’t clear how many people had rated the binder, so the stars didn’t provide enough information on the value of the binder to the community. We believe that seeing how many people find a binder useful will be an easier way to judge its potential value to you. We have added the ability to sort by the most useful binder ratings as well!

A big thanks to those of you in our community who suggested these enhancements. Also a big thanks to Dean Mantz, Dawn Wall, and Mike Fisher for reviewing, refining, and testing these new features!

If you are teaching classes on LiveBinders, feel free to contact us at any time to find out what changes are in the works. We love hearing from you!

A New Look/Navigation for LiveBinders Shelves

Tina and I are very excited to announce a new look for the LiveBinders shelf! We believe this look, combined with more logical navigation, will make it easier to find your way around the LiveBinders site.  Special thanks on this release go to Dawn Wall, Dean Mantz, and Mike Fisher for the valuable input that they provided while we were working on this.

Image

We have also added some often requested features with this release which include:

  • List view of binders – We love those binders with long titles and descriptions, but sometimes they are hard to see, so we created a list view so you can see it all.
  • Search public shelves – Have you ever done a search and found too many binders? Try the same search on shelves, someone has probably already pulled the best binders into a shelf for you.
  • Link to tab – Have you ever wanted to share a specific tab in a binder? I do all the time when I send out the Tips and Tricks binder.  Now you can have the binder open directly to a specific tab or subtab of your choosing. Just click on the “E” at the bottom of the binder in the “Share” box and grab the URL from there.

There are lots of details about these new features in this video:

Thank you to everyone in our community for sending in those feature requests. We are working on a lot more of them, so if you don’t see yours today, don’t think that we forgot about you!

Our New Look – Coming February 19!

Thanks to all of your wonderful feedback, we have begun making changes to the overall look of the website.  Our objective with this release is to make navigation easier and your binder shelves more accessible.

Here is just a glimpse of what the website will look like and highlights of some of the changes.

Color me Blue:

Dashboard:

You’ll now see your dashboard at the top and on the left.  You can also close and open your “All My Binders” and “All My Shelves” menus.

Better access to your shelves:

Get more efficient with your organization.  We realized that you have successfully organized all of your resources into many different binders, but now you need a way to organize groups of binders, yours and others’, into meaningful contexts.  Our custom shelf feature is now more easily accessible.

Binder and List views:

Stay Tuned!  We will launch the new website on February 19th.  If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the changes before then, please feel free to contact us at feedback@livebinders.com.

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!

The All-Important Conference Handout

I know that when I speak at conferences that the most common questions are: “Can I have a copy of your slides?” and “Can you provide that url again?”

Conference handouts are a very important part of your presentation. Your talk is often so information rich that it can’t possibly be adequately absorbed in just an hour. People need to digest the information and then go back and review it. They also need reinforcement of your message and they need to explore your sources for themselves so that they experience that “ah hah” moment on their own. Don’t let them do that without you! Create a binder with all your materials and make sure that you provide your blog or website in the binder. This will help you reinforce your message, but also let them remember the source of that message.

LiveBinders is your perfect solution to a great conference give-away! Here is a brief video overview:

But here is the best part, you can be working on your handout until the last possible minute. Of course there are times when I get additional resources from the audience. I love being able to tell them that those resources will be included in the binder. Unlike emailing information, with a binder, everyone always has the latest version.

Here is a great example from Kathy Cassidy and Maria Knee with slides and other resources:

Visual Subtabs

We love our LiveBinders community! Everyone always has helpful suggestions and ideas on how to improve LiveBinders. This one was requested by many of you. You felt like the subtabs were not visible enough in the binder. We polled a few of the people in our community with some ideas and this was the design that they thought would make the subtabs jump out more.

Please let us know if this works for you. We deeply appreciate your feedback!