Teachers are always so busy in their classrooms creating, organizing, and storing lesson plans. One of the most vital keys to success within the classroom is organization. With today’s technology there is a new way for students and teachers to stay organized online! LiveBinders is an online resource where students and teachers can create a virtual binder.

The online blog, TIPS,  is a blog created by teacher educator and researcher Dr. Jenny Lane. Dr. Lane created TIPS in order to introduce iPad technology and ways to incorporate iPads in a classroom. The post on LiveBinders entitled “Tips2012 iPad App Guide #41: LiveBinders” informs readers about LiveBinders and how to use the LiveBinders app. Although LiveBinders has an app available, LiveBinders is a web based resource. Users can use the LiveBinders resource online in addition to on an iPad with their app. 

LiveBinders allows users to create, organize, and share information. This tool is located online. A user can put almost anything into the binder. Students and teachers can link webpages and YouTube videos or just put documents, images, and videos inside their LiveBinders. They also have the option of creating different tabs and sub tabs just as you would do in a tangible binder. Below is a 90-second overview of how to use LiveBinders.

To get started with LiveBinders you must first create a free account. There is also an option toupgrade to a paid version of LiveBinders. The upgrades version of LiveBinders includes more privacy option for users as well as more storage space. Once you’ve created your account there is an example binder already stored in your library. This binder includes information about how to use LiveBinders. Here is a binder with general information made by the creators of LiveBinders:

How to create a blank binder or blank shelf.

How to create a blank binder or blank shelf.

To create a new binder click on the “Start a Blank Binder” button on the left hand side of your home page. Not only can you create a blank binder, you can also create a blank shelf. With this feature you have the option of organizing your binders into different shelves as you would on a bookshelf in real life. This could be very helpful when creating different lesson plans. You can easily sort the binders in to shelves that could hold different subjects such as social studies and math. Or even create shelves chronologically by weeks within the school year.

When creating a new binder, users have the option to make the binder public or private. Viewers do not need an account to view public of private LiveBinders. If you choose to make your binder public, anyone with the URL of the binder has access to it. It is also stored in a public library on LiveBinders where anyone with or without an account has access to view and share it. If you choose to make your binder private, only you can choose who views your binder.  Even if someone has the URL they must enter an access key to view it. Therefore, if you were to have a private binder that you wanted to share with your students, parents of your students, or even a substitute teacher, you would just have to provide them with the URL and the access key. 

Once you specified these settings, you can begin creating your binder! This binder

Tab Settings

Tab Settings

defaults with 3 tabs, but if you click on the “tab settings” button users have the option to add as many tabs and sub tabs as needed. In addition to the number of tabs you can include, you can also customize the tabs. In the tab settings users can name each tab and then design each tab with different colors and even different layouts. The different layouts are similar to those in Microsoft PowerPoint where the tab page can include a layout with just a title or other styles of layouts. This allows the creator to further organize the tabs and sub tabs within the binder.

After creating your tabs and designing them to your liking, you can begin adding content.

Content Options

Content Options

There is an “Add Content” button at the top of the dashboard page and a menu pops up. Once you’ve hit the “Add Content” button you have the option of adding a link, uploading a file, or adding other kinds of content such as QR codes, embedded codes and even a Dropbox. The possibilities are endless!

For more information about LiveBinders check out these great sites:

  • @LiveBinders is LiveBinders’ Twitter account where users can follow their updates!
  • LiveBinders’ YouTube channel has tutorials uploaded that can help users step by step.
  • LiveBinders’ blog on WordPress! Here users can read different blog posts written by the creators.
  • LiveBinders 4 Teachers is a wiki page about LiveBinders!  Here users can connect with other users and view example LiveBinders. The wiki is organized by grade level and subject so you can easily access specific example binders!
  • Featured Binders is a page within the LiveBinders site where users can search for binders by category and subtopics using links.
  • iPad, Android, and Chrome Apps are also available so you can use LiveBinders when you’re on the go!
  • Free Tools Challenge #15  has some basic information on LiveBinders. EduBlogs Teacher Challenges is a site where new teacher challenges are posted. These challenges are all technology based and LiveBinders was featured as one challenge in a series of challenges that teachers can choose to use in their classrooms!

LiveBinders are a great resource for teachers, students, and parents to use! What are some of your ideas for LiveBinders? There is so much you could do with LiveBinders!

This entry was posted in Communicating, Cool tool, Creating, Organizing. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to LiveBinders

  1. Kelly F. says:

    Winna, this sounds like a really cool idea! In middle school I remember that I was required to have a binder for science classes, and I thought there were super useful, except when the pages got torn or it was left at home (like anything else that isn’t digital), but this idea of keeping everything on a digital bookshelf, and tabulated by category inside the binder sounds simply brilliant! Thanks for the 411.

    • Tabitha C. says:

      I also had to have a binder in middle school! I was required to have a 3 ring trapperkeeper and it was miserable–my papers were everywhere, the holes would rip, and the worst feeling in the world was when you forgot to close the silver rings and all the papers fell out. LiveBinders definitely seems like the way to go.

  2. Angie E. says:

    Hey Winna! This sounds like a great tool, and thanks for pointing out that there is a companion iPad app. iPads are super popular in classrooms now and it would be great for students to work on their own LiveBinders in class or have access to their teacher’s. I agree with you that it would be great for creating and organizing lesson plans and activities, especially because you can share them with a substitute teacher! Thanks for sharing the great tool.

  3. Mary F. says:

    Winna, this seems like such a helpful tool!! Like people have said above, I too have had binders in the past and throughout the year they just get messier and messier. Soon you can’t find anything in them and half the pages are ripped – it’s a disaster. It sounds so much more appealing, as a student and future teacher, to have a binder that can be online so that pages can be found faster and fully intact. Also I love that kids can put more than just worksheets and papers in these binders, it will make the binders so much more useful. Thanks for this great post!

  4. B. Taylor says:

    Even though LB seems like a 3-ring binder replacement, to me it sounds like an alternative to Diigo or Symbaloo – just another great way to organize resources so you aren’t hunting for them later. So binders and tabs replace lists and webmixes. For that matter you could even combine the tools and use them together. If you like the binder approach, start using it as a way to organize resources you are learning about in this course so you can find them in future courses!

  5. Sara R. says:

    Winna, this is an excellent tool! I am using LiveBinders as a reference tool while creating our lessons for our final project, and have recommended the site to student teachers who are already in the field. LiveBinders is not only a great source for research but also for storage and collaboration! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Katie H. says:

    Great post Winna! This tool is very similar to my post on Alchemy SmartBinder. I think it is awesome that there are so many tools out there to create binders or lesson plans online. It is so convenient for teachers to use so that they can continuously update their lessons and ensure that they would not lose anything. It also is an excellent way to incorporate technology into the lessons. I enjoyed reading your post and plan on using this tool in the future.

  7. Steph G. says:

    Awesome job Winna! I’ve seen LiveBinders before, and although I’ve never used one, I absolutely see myself using one in the future. This is a great way for teachers to stay more organized and share information with others in a quicker and easier way! Thanks so much!

  8. Laura H. says:

    I am not a super organized person, so I can definitely see myself taking advantage of this tool in the future. Being able to find resources later is something I find super helpful, so this tool seems great for me! Good job!

  9. Maria H. says:

    Hey Winna! Especially after Skyping with our two elementary school classrooms and learning about the technology they use in their classes, this app could definitely be downloaded onto any of the teachers’ iPads! Most schools probably have one or two, and LiveBinders could be so helpful to the students! I love the organization skills and information sharing tools that LiveBinders will teach the students! Great job!

  10. Chelsea S. says:

    I was really interested in this tool when Professor Taylor showed it to us in class one time. As a teacher I’m sure I will have so many different idea on how to teach a lesson and instead of printing everything out and having the information clutter around in my house, LiveBinder would be perfect to eliminate that problem! I am also excited to be able to create different binders for different years and for different subjects! I definitely think this is a tool I’m going to use as a teacher.

  11. Alexia M. says:

    Winna, this is a great post! I remember using LiveBinders when Dr. Taylor introduced it to us. It is a great place to find resources, but it would also be a great place to keep track of your own or do any of the other things that you mentioned. LiveBinders can be a little confusing to me at times, so I think I may just stick to using it when I am looking for resources. Thanks!

  12. Victoria B. says:

    Great post! I have never used LiveBinders but I am interested in checking it out! It sounds like a great way to organize documents and resources in one place. I also like the idea of having an online option of a binder, rather than a physical copy. As teachers, we will have SO many papers and resources to keep up with, which can take up quite a bit of space. This is a good alternative!

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