This is not a new website. I played around with it over a year ago. My main struggle was uploading PDFs or other files to the binder. As long as I had a website address, I had no problems. I had almost forgotten about LiveBinders, but recently there has been a lot of chatter on Twitter about LiveBinders.
My potential interest in LiveBinders is the ability to create a digital, textbook replacement. I am not going to try to re-invent the textbook. Instead, I am going to find the endless array of resources created by other people and group them together in an organized way. The questions that I have: would I need to create a separate binder for each chapter? How many tabs and subtabs can be added (which goes along with the first question)? Can students use Diigo or Zotero for bookmarking within the web sites through LiveBinders? I want the students to be able to write notes in the ‘margins’ of the activities we do. There are layout options very similar to PowerPoint slides for the tabs in LiveBinders – what if I want to be original? Can you create content without using the layouts? Is there a way to use embed codes – or I am limited to embedding videos from YouTube and photos from Flickr?
I saw on the website that there were examples from many other schools. I am going to check them out and see the potential problems and successes. This is what I have created so far, but I am still undecided if I am happy with the delivery method. It is organized in a practical way – in my mind – but I do not know if the students would find it as easy to navigate.
My other two options for creating a Techbook (instead of a textbook) are Moodle or Wikibooks. Moodle is already widely used in my school. However, by having a section for each subject makes the Moodle course very large. As the teacher, I hid sections not in use so I do not overwhelm the students. This means they do not have access to much past or future information. That was part of the motivation for creating a techbook so the students would have something to reference, no matter what their question was and when that subject would have been taught.
The ability of anyone to edit the content of a wikibook is both exciting and terrifying. Would it still be a reliable resource if others could have a chance to add, edit, or remove content? I like creating content, but I do not know how many times I could enthusiastically re-create the same or similar content. Overseeing wikis can be a full time job – or the job of someone without a full time job and has time to make sure that any additions enhance the entries. I would not fit into that category.
Basically, I still know what my final product will look like. I need to figure that out before I can move on to the next stage of the project. Does anyone have any suggestions for creating a digital, textbook replacement resource? It need to be user friendly – both for creating on the teacher side and using on the student side. It is also needs to be free, since the purpose of the resource is to replace the expensive, cumbersome textbook. Any and all advice is appreciated!