Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Live Binders

This reminds me a little of Dropbox and eBackpack, but it's a little bit more show-y...I LOVE it!!

Live Binders is a site that allows the user to upload information to their "binder." (And when I say "binder," I mean it literally looks like a virtual 3-ring binder.) It allows users to insert "tab dividers" into their "binders," too, so there is an element of organization to it all. It looks like users can create as many binders as they want, so long as your total storage doesn't equal more than 100 MB.  I realize that's not as much information as the free version of Dropbox allows, but it doesn't appear that a user would really NEED that much storage...

I haven't been using Live Binder very long (I'm going on 15 minutes at the moment...), so I may need to edit this post later. But it appears that a user wouldn't really NEED that much storage, since all you'd really be posting is web links. It doesn't appear that users can upload files (Word docs, Excel, PowerPoints, etc.) to the binders -- just URLs. The tutorial suggests that, once downloaded, you place the "LiveBinder It" button on your search bar. When you find a website you'd like to add to the binder, you just click that button, and it automatically is added for you.

I was hoping this might be an alternative to the English binders I have my students keep in class (which consist of the syllabus, agendas, notes, handouts, and graded papers), such luck. However, this would be great for a teacher to use on his/her classroom website. Instead of cluttering your webpage with lots of links, you could just post the Live Binder, instead. Much less clutter on your website, and the links would display beautifully when the "binder" is opened.

This might be beneficial for students if they were creating a lot of web documents throughout the school year. THEN this Live Binder might be useful as a type of portfolio. For instance, if Bobby does a Glog over the Great Depression, a Prezi over the life and times of William Shakespeare, a Voki character summary over his favorite person from Lord of the Flies, a Fake Wall over Edgar Allan Poe, AND has a full Shelfari bookshelf by the end of the semester, he could create a Live Binder to display all 6 assignments he'd done. He could even include particularly compelling blog posts in his Live Binder portfolio... All Bobby would have to do is retrieve the URLs from those projects and post them in his Live Binder. From there, all he'd have to do is e-mail his teacher the link to the Live Binder, and his semester portfolio is done.

On a simpler note: maybe Live Binder is an alternative to having students e-mail their teacher the link to their online project(s). Maybe each student should have a Live Binder and keep links to all online projects in that binder. Then, when it's time to grade, the teacher just opens the binders and begins to grade....

Hmm. I'm imagining the possibilities riiiiight nowwwww.....

::Edit:: I just made my first Live Binder, and it's full of English links. I typically have an "English links" page on my classroom website, as well as a "Resources" page. The English links are, obviously, all links that are related to English. The "resources" are more "life-related" links: medical disorders or disabilities, hotlines (such as for abuse, bullying, etc.), info on college and scholarships, and some encouraging quotes for those hard times.  If I make Live Binders of each, I can condense everything to one "Links" page, and save myself some time and space on my classroom website! Plus, I can update all the time without messing up the entire layout of the site. Whoo-hoo! Here's the link to my English Links Live Binder. It still needs some tweaking, but I'll get it figured out soon. Also, I found out that you CAN upload documents. I tried it with just a picture, and it worked perfectly. I assume it also works with Microsoft Word docs, too, but I guess I'll have to find out next time I play with it.

Oh, and I just realized that I don't have to give you the actual link to my English binder because...oh, look at can be embedded onto your own personal website! Ahh! Can't this get any better?!


Life Resources

Oh, wait. Yes. Yes, it can get better. There's an iPad app: LiveBinders :)

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