Monday, March 21, 2011

Retire the Binder

As a student success teacher, I spend many hours helping students organize the chaos that happens when a backpack is used as a filing system. When I think about the fact that learners spend countless classroom hours copying chalk notes onto lined paper, I can't help but see the three-ring binder as one of the great anachronisms of modern education.

A few months ago, we learned that we would be supported in re-imagining some of the learning spaces in my school. Now that a colleague has managed to garner the support of Apple Canada, we'll be collaborating to deliver an iPod/iBook pilot in his geography courses. In concert with this project, we're taking the leap to leverage cloud-based course binders.

EverNote will be the linchpin of student and teacher digital notebooks, allowing each participant to tag, organize, and share text, audio, photo, and web-based resources. Ideally, each student will be able to access 'curated' course materials on any of a wide range of devices.

We'll also be introducing students Google Documents, and DropBox, as planning and sharing tools for the rich multimedia elements students will be producing with Apple's iLife suite. It's going to be an exciting project, and it all starts when we 'retire the binder'.

Photo Credit: Rodd Lucier; Nick Findley
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