Recently I was introduced to a website calledwww.livebinders.com, to be honest I have to say on my first glance through the site I had little interest in it and failed to see how it could enhance or benefit my teaching in anyway. I would have to say this opinion was quite short sighted of me. Perhaps I should tell you the idea behind the site and then give a few ideas I have had on how it could be useful for teachers and pupils alike.
The idea behind the site is a very simple one, I suppose, it is literally an online binder/folder where you can store all the websites, links and other information you have on a certain topic or topics. It is really the replacement for the old folders where we would have kept the hardcopies of information in days gone by. To use it and set up an account is extremely easy and hassle free and once done making the binders themselves is very straight forward. You simply click start new binder and from here you can enter URL’s and links to websites that you have found into tabs. Depending on the site itself it will either be inserted into the tab or the link to the site will be there. You can have as many or as few tabs as you like.
I decided to give the site a go and seen as I was doing the rainforest as a topic with my 2nd class I felt this was an opportunity to try it. I had spent a bit of time researching the rainforests and looking for videos online and as I found sites that I thought were useful I added them to the binder. When I went in the next day it was super all the videos and sites were in one place. I really was surprised at how useful I found it. Before this I would have been adding the sites to my favourites and accessing from there. As we know favourites begin to get over crowded and, if you’re like me they become unorganised so of course then I delete them. When I revisit the topic I then have to search for these sites again but with Livebinder they are saved for me. So as you can see it really is a useful resource. Great in the infant classes for saving links to websites and games that are connected to different topics. You could have a binder set up for different subjects and keep adding to it as the year progresses. Similarly with the older classes this could be done and any project work and research could be saved by the children in individual binders. Also given that you can set your binders to public or private once you moderate and supervise it is a tool older children could use.
Another aspect to the Livebinder site that I really enjoyed is the education section. In this section there are hundreds of binders made by other teachers on different topics. Many of these binders contain links to great sites for information, games and worksheets covering all aspects of education from sports to nursery rhymes to maths. A lot of these sites are American, as American teachers seem to be great for sharing resources, however once you have worked out the grade/level your class are at they are an excellent resource.
So as you can see I’ve kind of had to eat my words and admit that this could in fact be one of my favourite free resources available on the internet.