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

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.

Enter Our 2014 Top 10 Binder Contest!

“How are you using LiveBinders as ePortfolios?”

That’s the theme for our 2014 Top 10 LiveBinders contest. You can nominate binders that you created and are using at your school or learning environment as well as binders that were created by others. These binders can be recent ones you started using just this year or older ones that you’ve been using for several years. Educators, students, administrators, and trainers are invited to enter their binders.

For the nomination, you are required to submit the binder link and a summary explaining how you are using the binder differently than you would a paper 3-ring binder, how it has helped your teaching or learning, and how you plan to change or use the binder for next year.

A collection of 25 binders will be selected by a panel of judges. Those 25 binders will then be entered in the final round of voting by the public.

Prizes for the selected 25 binders include:

  • A Top 10 Nominee badge for your website
  • A feature of your binder and your summary in an ebook that LiveBinders will publish by the Fall of 2014
  • A 10% off coupon for school supplies by BizSupplies.com, one of our valued sponsors of the contest

Awards for the Top 10 Winners include:

  • All of the prizes awarded to the selected 25 finalists above
  • A Top 10 label on your binder
  • Placement of your binder on our Top 10 shelf and Featured Binders page
  • A LiveBinders Spotlight Bookmark featuring your binder
  • A $50 Amazon gift certificate
  • A Zebra stylus pen by BizSupplies.com

To view terms and contest details, or to enter a binder in this contest, click on the link below:

 

Please submit your binders as soon as possible, submissions close on June 8th, at midnight PST.

We look forward to seeing all your great binders!

 

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!

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 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.

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”.

Motivating your kids to learn

September is nearly over and the enthusiasm for school is starting to subside.  Reality is setting in – parents might be dealing with kids who aren’t taking their classwork or homework ‘seriously’ or maybe they are discovering that their kids want to do well, but are afraid to ask for help.

Parents with kids who are clearly bright, but who aren’t applying themselves in the classroom might be interested in the following resources in this LiveBinder.

One article in particular talks about a book by Dr. Michael Whitley, which gives helpful guidelines for motivating your kids to learn. (see article to the right)

Click on the tabs in the binder to view other interesting resources on this subject.

Fostering an orphaned elephant

Our kids received a great gift a couple of years ago – instead of the usual gift card or plastic toy – our daughters were given an orphaned elephant named Makena. Makena lives on the David Sheldrick Wild Life Reserve in Kenya, Africa. The foster donation lasts for a year and you receive monthly reports about the reserve, any new additions to the reservation and the monthly goings on concerning the elephant, or rhino you are fostering. They send you pictures from the website and a digital image of a water color of the animal you are fostering. I believe the water colors are painted by David Sheldrick’s daughter.

The stories are charming – some heart breaking – and your donations make you feel like you can make the world just a little bit better. It’s also great to engage your children – my kids would love to visit the reserve!

Take a look at the website in the binder below – I’ve included some of their photos, the monthly reports since 2007 and also some interesting stories regarding the rescue of a rhino and some recent baby elephants.

To open click on the link below!

Enjoy!

School Fundraising

California public schools are facing serious budget cuts next year, so school fundraising has become more important than ever. But just how much stuff can you make kids sell? At our school, we are trying to find more creative ways of raising funds – like using a school picture group that gives half of the profits back to the school. This binder has some of the programs that we are currently using for fundraising. I would love to see other PTA’s create their own binders with their programs so I can browse those as well. Click on the binder below to see the programs that we use at our elementary school:

Multiplication worksheets for kids

If you are looking to drill your kids on their multiplication tables this binder has a few sites with printable worksheets. I use flash cards but I also want to have my kids work through the problems on paper. These sites even have division problems and templates for flash cards.

To open the binder click on the link or the icon below. Then you can look at the different websites by clicking on the tabs.

If you want to save this binder onto your desktop – drag the link below to your desktop. Your browser icon will appear on the desktop along with the name of the binder – ‘Multiplication worksheets to print.’

My kids actually look forward to beating their fastest time, so it’s nice to have the binder handy so I can print the worksheets out when they get home.