LiveBinders is an awesome tool that works like web folders in a digital 3-ring binder. You can create as many as you would like, you can share them with the world or keep them private, you can search other binders, and, most fantastically, LiveBinders is free!
While there are other great research tools out there, I like LiveBinders because it is visual and easy for others to use.
The web is full of nice research tools like Zotero (covered here and here and lots of other places!) and iCyte (covered here). There are also great social social bookmarking sites like Diigo (my favorite), that allow you to collect and share links with groups of like-minded folks.
LiveBinders is a little different than robust tools like Zotero, iCyte, and Diigo. For starters, it looks like a real life 3-ring binder with virtual web folders. You can store useful websites and PDF files, annotate them, make tabs and sub-tabs. The binders are easy to update, as well. You can create a visual bookshelf with different notebooks and make them available to students without hassle.
To use LiveBinders, simply register for a free account, watch the tutorial, and begin searching! When I searched for stuff to do with my children (both in first grade), I was pretty excited when I found a binder on math worksheets for first graders.
What makes the site really sweet is that I can share my various web folders easily on Facebook. Since a lot of my friends have first graders, and we live around the world, being able to post on Facebook walls helps us to share great ideas!
LiveBinders covers a wide range of topics, because the content is user generated. Recently, there were a series of web folders dedicated to celebrating “pi” day!
Of course, the best part of any tool is its ease of use. LiveBinders is dead easy to use. Simply fill out the form, and make choices about collecting and sharing sites; the program does all the work for you!
In this example, I am researching MakeUseOf, and this is the form I filled out:
Be sure to “enter a Google search term” if you want LiveBinders to collect the websites for you. If not, leave it blank and you can manually add sites later on. Once you click “Create New Binder,” you will get results!
As you can see below, the new results come in the form of new tabs. In settings, you can decide how many tabs to collect.
LiveBinders is committed to the free sharing of knowledge (WOO!). While you can maintain a private binder for your own use, it is just as easy to share your binder or use a binder shared by another person. You can have as many binders as you choose.
Organizing and sharing content in the form of web folders has never been easier. LiveBinders is an easy and catchy way to collect and share content. It is also a great place to look for information on a topic you might be interested in studying.
Do you use LiveBinders? What are your thoughts?
Image credit: Funch