Something teachers always have to deal with is students forgetting their material. Nothing is more frustrating than when a student tells you that he/she has forgotten his/her binder, pencil cases, etc. For years, teachers have been thinking of ways in order for students not to forget to bring the necessary material to class. One way is, for them, to carry everything electronically. The only thing is that the students need to have access to whatever electronic device they have at hand (laptops, tablets, etc.) Say hello to LiveBinders!
In short, LiveBinders is an electronic tool that simulates a binder. The user needs to create an account just as he/she would do for any other web-storage tool. Once the user is logged in, the fun can begin! The way it works is that the user can first create “shelves” for different aspects of his/her life. For example, one might create a shelf for each semester at university. A “binder” can also be created for each course to be taken during each semester. The “binders” can be separated in tabs and subtabs to help organizing it. For example, the user can organize one course’s binder followingly: one tab for the course outline and one for each week of the semester. If a course’s course outline is available in pdf format, the user can upload it to the course outline tab for instance. The content to be added to each “binder” can either be a hyperlink, an existing file (of any format), other content (Flickr, Youtube, QR code, Dropbox, other “binders”, etc.), or a text layout. The possibility to assign tabs colours is great for the ones who are visual. Also, any uploaded document can be downloaded in its original format afterwards. As for inserted text boxes, they can be printed directly from the binder. When uploading a file, the user is always asked if he/she wants to overwrite the previous one. Binders can be shared with other people. When sharing a binder, the user has to provide the shared-with users with a key to access the binder in question for more security. Moreover, a binder can either be copyable or non-copyable. Basically, the user can give the possibility to the person with whom the binder is shared to copy the binder in question or not. Another great feature of this tool is that it has a “present” mode which allows the user to display a binder in a presentation mode to show it to others. Here is a tutorial to know more about the endless features of LiveBinders.
How to use LiveBinders with students? A good way to use LiveBinders is to show students how to organize themselves. Moreover, when showing students how to organize themselves with the help of technology, it proves that you can integrate technology to your teaching. Here is an example of it. Students love it. What is great is that if you use it every year with your students, you/they can reuse the previous years’ binders because they are all stored on the same account. The good old physical binder is no longer thrown away at the end of the year; it becomes a useful tool to be used many years later. As seen on this website, LiveBinders can be used to carry out team projects (examples of team projects with LiveBinders). The teacher can also share a binder to transmit information to the students. Furthermore, students can take notes directly in their binders by using a text layout. Possibilities are endless.
Every tool has its downsides. While the access online resources is a major feature of LiveBinders, it also is its downside. If a teacher wants his/her students to use this tool during class time, the students need to have access to electronic devices. It is awesome if they can use their tablets or laptops (if they ever have such devices) to go on LiveBinders either on internet or on the free application. Moreover, LiveBinder’s account holders need to be at least 13 years old. Therefore, a teacher cannot have primary school students use it. Still, a teacher can use LiveBinders to share information with them (or use it in class) as binders can be accessed even without owning an account.
In conclusion, LiveBinders is a great tool for both teachers and students. After all, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning says it: “LiveBinders: The educative tool teachers should not miss.”