Paperless Science Fair Project

My son just completed his science project.  (The topic was, “Which is smarter, his cat or his friend’s dog?”)  It had to be done on a huge poster board and he also printed lots of pictures and stuck them to the poster board.  When it was time to bring it in, I had to drive him to school because he was afraid the poster board would get damaged on the bus.

It made me think that is ironic that he is doing this project in “Earth Sciences” and yet the carbon footprint of the project is rather large.

So I was thrilled to see teachers asking students to use LiveBinders for their science projects.  What a great way to go paperless!  You could even create a wiki with all the projects so that parents and grandparents can see them as well.  The winning projects could be featured on the school website for all to see.

These kids will get to keep their Science Fair LiveBinder without clutter, and yet my son’s poster will hang around the house for a while until we get tired of it and put it in the recycling.

Here are a some examples of these paperless projects.  Some of these are not complete at time of this post:

Here is a Teacher’s example binder:

As an additional resource, here is KB Connected’s binder on science fair resources:

I have a deep admiration for the Science teacher(s) who made this leap to paperless science fair projects!

Just in case you were curious about the result of my son’s project, it is the cat who made it through the majority of the tests faster, proving (at least to his owner) his intellectual superiority.

10 Great Ways that Educators are Using LiveBinders

It is so much fun to go to the LiveBinders site and see all the new ways that educators are using LiveBinders to curate content.  Every day that I go to the site I see a new interesting binder, so I thought it would be great to highlight some great examples in this post:

  1. ePortfolios – I think Jackie Gerstein created one of the first ePortfolios on LiveBinders and it continues to be one of the best:
  2. Computer Lab – Are you always finding more sites that you want to share in the computer lab? If you keep them in a LiveBinder, the students will always have access to your latest finds, like this one created by ‘dboyd’:
  3. Administration – Sometimes there is an event at school (like state testing) where the information changes constantly. In this case, it is helpful to have all relevant information in one place, where everybody can access it. This binder from ‘mstoraasli’ is a great example:
  4. Library – This is a great Library Media Center binder from ‘joquetta’ who has clearly done an excellent job organizing all this information:
  5. Student Assignments – One class grouped together all of their drawings in a LiveBinder for an interesting puzzle cube assignment:
  6. Collecting things to read – How do you organize all those great links from tweets so that you can find them later when you need them?  Mary Johnson organized her reading material in this LiveBinder and was kind enough to make it public so that the rest of us can read these great articles, too:
  7. Preparing for lessons – ‘xmath’ put together this great binder for teaching kids about upcoming Veteran’s Day:
  8. Posting course materials – This binder on the “Introduction to Internet” from ‘peterclearly’ organizes all the course materials neatly into tabs and subtabs:
  9. Sharing resources – A group of 25 teachers were all collecting separate links.  By using the same account, they combined all their links into one binder, so they could quickly gain access to all the latest sites.
  10. Best resources on a subject – Teresa McGee’s ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ binder, Colleen Young’s ‘Wordle – educational uses’ Binder, and Sheeler’s Edgar Allan ‘Poe’ binder are all excellent examples of collecting the best resources on a subject:
  11. Fun – Ok, I know I was going to stop at 10, but who says binders are all work and no play? I loved Nancy Devine’s collection of ‘Pumpkin Recipes’:

Here are some more examples.

Student Goals

Mr. Lester has been busy figuring out new ways to use binders in his teaching. He recently came up with the idea of using private binders for student-parent-teacher communication. A private binder can have the student’s individual goals in a place where everyone can find them. The binder can have websites and materials designed to help that student reach their goals.

We can’t show you examples of these binders because they are private. But here some more of Mr. Lester’s well-organized public binders:

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”.

A Feature for a Teacher

We have a teacher who is using LiveBinders in her class with her lesson plans and websites projected up on the screen. She asked that we create a way to show a binder without all the information around the binder that might distract her 5th grade students. So we added a ‘full screen’ mode to LiveBinders. From the shelf, click on Options > Show Full Screen and the binder will open up without toolbars or binder information.

This feature is also useful for PR people using LiveBinders who want to present the media coverage to clients.

Go here to try it out.