These are my two technologies LiveBinder and Diigo. LiveBinder is the first one I looked into, it is more of a teacher tool than a student tool but I think students would find this an useful way to archive their school projects and grades. Like a hard copy portfolio LiveBinder can be used to produce evidence of a student’s accomplishments.
LiveBinder’s set up is pretty straight forward. Go to www.livebinders.com and register. Once you have done so you get this opening page. The tabs across the top provide a newbie with information of how livebinder works, tutorials and examples. I personally found the tutorials helpful with my binder because I have never used such a technology before. Livebinder allows you to place photos, URL’s and projects into your binders.
After registering you can add the livebinder it tool to your tool bar. What I liked about this if you have some sort of issue when trying to download the tool there was a special note box that gave you suggestions of how to get it installed. Very helpful for those that are not technologically inclined. Once you have the livebinder it tool you are ready to go.
Uploading files is pretty easy but I had some issues with time. The files for me seemed to go slow. But it is an easy process. This is a screen of the files I uploaded to my binder.
Once files are uploaded you simply choose where to put the file. Really easy process.
This is an example of my binder, as you can see I have save several items into the binder and when you want to open something up you click on a tab, (this example is of my less than a minute presentation) and then you can click on the link to bring up the presentation. Again very easy.
Livebinder’s ability to save all types of files in one easy location makes it a great tool. Also because it is a virtual binder, it takes no space up in the classroom, allows student/parents to edit or create new binders and documents a students progress. I think this is a valuable tool for schools and educators.
The next free tool is diigo. Diigo is very similar to delicious but diigo allows you to manipulate those bookmarks to work for you. You can not only bookmark a site but you can take a particular paragraph (or a whole article) highlight the important parts, add notes and store it. Once you have found an article or bit of information you would like to save you can tag that piece so it is easier to find. AND share this information with anyone.
Diigo was also easy to sit up, and when added you have an icon on your toolbar to easily access when you want to save something.
Another great aspect to diigo is all the diigo help tutorials. These tutorials can make you a diigo expert. One thing I need to share is not all the tutorials have sound direction along with the video. If you have a student that is not a strong visual learner you will probably have to walk through the tutorial with the student.
This is an example of my diigo test account. But now what. Well, say for example I was working on a project with some others on Blooms taxonomy. I have saved in my diigo wikipedia’s article on blooms taxonomy and have saved an image related to Bloom’s. Now I can share the whole article with my group or just a piece that I think is important in the notes section. From there my group and I can build our project together but not necessarily be physically together when we work. Diigo is a great way for students to take the information they have researched and manipulate that data to do presentations, research papers and/or form arguments to increase higher order thinking.