Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting Organized

I am a fanatic when it comes to being organized. Prior to each school year, a bulk of my work occurs in August even though I don't teach until September. I organize units of study, materials and my teaching and learning priorities.

I am beginning a new phase of my teaching career in a few weeks. I am leaving the classroom (after 22 years) to teach in a computer lab. At my new school, I will be a specialist for 20 K-6 classrooms.

The computer lab is spacious. It has 30 computers and a Promethean board. There are no shelves, counters or cabinets. Therefore, I am not going to be organizing any materials! I have already been making the shift towards being paperless personally and professionally, so I am excited to take it further.

I have been doing some experimenting with ways to organize digitally. One option I am trying out is LiveBinders. LiveBinders allows users to create digital binders. It is a free Web 2.0 tool. I am drawn to it for several reasons besides the price:

• The design is totally flexible. I can set the number of tabs, the tab names and I can put many kinds of files into the same section of a binder.

• The LiveBinder It Tool allows me to add content to my binder as I surf the web. The tool resides on my web browser tool bar. When I find a resource I wish to access later, I simply click and place the link into my binder.

• LiveBinders provides a way to link to kids-safe websites where my students and their parents can have easy access to information. I will be able to put it on the computer desktops in my lab while families can also access the contents.

• Finally, people can easily share their binders with other registered users. I have already found some great resources that fellow educators have organized.

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