Friday, August 6, 2010

Virtual Centers using LiveBinders

For anyone that follows my blog or other online interactions, it’s no secret that I love, love, love LiveBinders as a Web2.0 tool. I do much work with teachers on finding appropriate, pedagogically sound ways to integrate technology tools, especially with an emphasis on research based instructional strategies.

If you haven’t seen LiveBinders, here is a screenshot of the interface:

Note the tabs across the top that represent individual web pages (or in more dynamic binders, represent a thematic element or overall topic, with subtabs for content.) What’s great about this is that it allows the user to create a VISUAL representation in a neat, collected format rather than the same information just being a list of links.

I was working with teachers this week in an Elementary School in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Our workshop was “teacher driven” and we developed in the moment what they needed to do their job well. They indicated that they were interested in creating “Virtual Learning Centers” and so I introduced them to LiveBinders.

They were already using interactive websites for instructional purposes, and I was able to share some additional websites with them. We collected all of these into binders specific to content areas such as reading or math and I showed them how to save the links and create a visual “window shopping” version of these links.

Students can visit the sites and navigate visually rather than textually AND stay on the same internet page. This is VERY important for differentiation and management. If kids have the opportunity to navigate visually, then more kids can be engaged with selected web resources. Additionally, from a management perspective, a teacher can tell with a glance whether or not a student is still in their LiveBinder “frame.”

Here are the Virtual Learning Centers these teachers created if you want to see some examples:


  1. Mike,

    I LOVE LiveBinders, too! Thanks so much for sharing - my binders are public so feel free to use them if they can help you or others - but I'm just getting started.

    Barbara Moose

  2. Thank you for sharing. I am an avid creator/ follower of LiveBinders. My binders are public and you are welcome to share or use.