May 22, 2012
The looseleaf notebook and the cumbersome binder are research containers of the past. As we ask our students to shift towards research transparency, collaboration, interactivity, and an authentic audiences, the paper container becomes inadequate (Valenza, 2010).
Looseleaf notebooks and binders cannot adequately contain:
- multimedia, such as videos and podcasts
- RSS for dynamic news feeds and blogs
- news widgets
Looseleaf notebooks and binders are not:
- easily portable and accessible across devices
Research Containers In Teaching and Learning
Online research containers offer a convenient online location for students to find information during and after school. The uploaded resources can help students further their research, review project rubrics, listen to podcasts, and submit homework.
- Place information students need to complete their work, such as rubrics, web-based resources, study guides, classroom procedures, and assignment or project requirements.
- Create a research containter for a specific assignment or project for students to upload their finished work. The design feature of many of the online research containers allows students to present their work in class.
- Upload guides for using online tools and digital devices such as an iPad, probeware, flip camera, and digital camera.
- Have students use the research container as an eportfolio.
- Facilitate collaboration using a research container as part of the learning process.
- Use a research containter to demonstrate the writing process – create a tab for each draft/activity.
Research Container Tools
Today’s students are growing increasingly confident about managing and customizing their personal information spaces. There are many free choices of containers for research and knowledge building. Below is a sample list of choices:
- Microsoft One Note
- Google Drive
- LiveBinders - is a digital 3 ring binder that can hold virtually anything; web pages, PDFs, documents, images, or videos. Everything is organized by tab and subtabs can be created within those tabs. It works as an online organization tool that allows the user to:
- Organize information neatly and easily. Watch this video on Introduction To LiveBinders.
- Material and resources can be uploaded from any Internet connected computer, anytime, and anywhere.
- A class blog or wiki can provide students’ access to a binder.
- Total storage per account is 100 MB, providing the opportunity to create multiple binders.
- A bookmark tool is available a browser’s toolbar to quickly upload new resources to a binder. Add “LiveBinder It” bookmarklet to your browser toolbar so that you can add to your binders while you browse the Internet. It is one-button binder building!
- Binders can be private or public. If you want to create a binder that is private, but allows your friends to see the binder, use the share tool to share the link to any specific binder.
- Use of the Google autofill feature to save time. When creating a binder, type in key words and Google will bring up websites that are relevant to the topic. Sort through the content moving each tab to the left or right, or choosing to delete a tab.
- Search through binders that others have created.
- Share your LiveBinder easily from the Live Binders web site, via desktops and/or shared network folders and/or embed into wikis or blogs.