Common Sense Review
Updated June 2015


Cool organization and eportfolio tool; watch out for privacy features
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Common Sense Rating 3
  • LiveBinders offers various packages that include educator discount. (The app is free!)
  • Creating a new binder is relatively easy with site directions.
  • From student/class organization to e-portfolios, to professional development collaboration, LiveBinders can serve a multitude of purposes.
  • Once a binder is made public, it becomes part of vast selection of resources in the site's gallery.
Nice features for creating eportfolios, sharing class materials, and finding student and teacher resources.
Sometimes-complex tools and limited visual appeal will hinder some kids' interest.
Bottom Line
A good tool for its organizational, storage, and digital publishing features.
Kirstin Sobotka
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Tech-savvy students will love creating and using this Web-based organization tool. While the site may not be too visually stimulating, there are still limited opportunities to personalize. Users can browse the free gallery for resources.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Great features for staying organized and creating a digital portfolio make for an authentic learning opportunity. In addition to organizing school work, students can collaborate on projects and share resources like documents, websites, and media.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

While the tutorial video sells the site, the real guidance comes from the FAQ page that hosts directions for user questions and issues. Some technical info is unclear, but teachers can adapt their own student-friendly instructions.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Keep your class up to date on materials and lessons by creating a tab for each grading period or unit; upload class notes, handouts, and presentations in addition to extra resources for content-specific support. Now, when a student misses class, they can simply check the binder to get caught up on work. Have a favorite, tech-savvy substitute teacher? Share the binder so they can easily prep for class instruction. Collaborating with teachers as professional development? Share a binder to organize research, strategies, and tools. Need a home for a parent newsletter? Create a tab in your class binder or create weekly tabs so that parents can engage in meaningful dinnertime conversations with their child. Students can use LiveBinders to keep their class materials organized and also to keep writing, reading, and research portfolios to share with their teachers for assessment purposes.

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What's It Like?

LiveBinders serves as a virtual binder that takes traditional organization to the next level. Moderately tech-savvy teachers and students can take advantage of uploading and organizing class materials. Documents, websites, and media can be uploaded to tabs within each binder. The site (and Chrome app) offers a free version with 10 binders and limited storage; paid versions allow for larger uploads and storage in addition to privacy, sharing, and collaboration features. Educators receive half-off discounts for paid versions of the product. In addition to storing resources for class, professional development, and extracurricular activities, users can use this site as a personal portfolio for class projects, a collaborative tool for research, and a means to share resources. Teachers can also browse the topic-organized public gallery for resources aligned with course or professional development objectives.

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Is It Good For Learning?

The best thing about LiveBinders might be its flexibility: Use the tool as an eportfolio, a blog, or a go-to online resource for students or families to promote discourse, collaboration, and sharing.

Keep in mind that privacy features are available only for paid accounts, so teachers working with free accounts should find a way for students to maintain confidentiality when their binders are automatically shared on the site's public gallery. Also keep in mind that public binders keep track of views and viewer ratings for the creator and other viewers to see; that data can be useful for helping kids revise and improve their binders. For classroom use, teachers will need to provide student-friendly guidance, since some technical directions on the site can be confusing to less tech-savvy students. Overall, students will enjoy the site's customizable, DIY feel, and they'll take an active role in reading, creating, and commenting.

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Lesson Plans