What We learned-

Features and Benefits of BinderBuddies® compatible notebook products

Survey says: Among the 100 test respondents in grades 3, 5, and 6 in the pilot project at Seven Hills School in Worcester, on average over 80% of the respondents said they felt more organized, would like to keep the system, and would recommend it to other Edison Schools. For the teachers, the number of make ups(arrival in class without papers due) decreased, the number of replacement handouts that were needed the next class decreased, the time it took to start teaching a class decreased, and the quality of the class process( student arriving prepared for the content of the day) increased. Other testing has resulted in measured grade point upswings of as many as 5 average points over time.--- Even more importantly, it was discovered that BinderBuddies provides a bridge from paper to computer in that the system provides a fully functional "mechanical file system" that presages the use of filing directories on a computer.

---Binder Buddies requires no curriculum change.  It is packaged as a "do it yourself" tool for teachers, parents, and students.  The tools are a natural fit in any classroom and dovetail even better with any study skills modules which may be taught as part of a standard curriculum.  These tools are fully compatible with and make fundamental improvements to the Landmark™ method of notebook organizing and enable any student to enjoy the promise that being organized offers, improved performance in school. The tools, available as basic school supplies, are  a viable option for Edison to implement as part of their class room management methodology because at the outset they work like "souped up school tools" to get students organized right out of the starting block. BinderBuddies¨  allow for a  more effective representation of information and a more efficient way for the student to process, archive, and reference that information.

-- With "age compression" there is a need to provide more powerful learning tools to younger and younger children. Binder Buddies offers an incremental approach to developing organizing skills in younger children. Since younger children are susceptible to new procedural skills and can discover new and more effective ways to "learn how to learn", BinderBuddies¨ is a perfect complement to their needs and supports the child's skill development and self-esteem in the face of the increased demands placed on children by age compression.

--Binder Buddies is a document organizing system for notebooks that dovetails to any calendar or planner already in use at Edison.  Some Edison schools already have a coordinated purchase program for agendas(ex. Franklin Covey). The Copymaster™ forms provided in Binder Buddies are optional.  They may  result in some overlap of function with planners.  In the pilot at Seven Hills, we completely deemphasized the undated calendar forms but recommended the homework planning spread sheets in the hopes of maximizing the benefit of the PEI tools in the context of the preexisting Edison tools.  This worked for the pilot teachers.

-- These products are "school supplies" just like pockets, paper, and binders. The big advantage of Binder Buddies¨ products is that they provide innovative improvements to traditional notebooks, stickers, paper, forms,  and pockets. Binder Buddies gives the student control over their workflow, makes learning more fun, and  offers a new dimension for increasing school wide performance.

--Binder Buddies allow a teacher to manage learning in larger groups.  The tools allows for effective teaching of larger groups, permitting quicker set up and response time and higher quality interaction. These are the benefits often associated with smaller class size. This can allow for a better operating cost model.

 

BINDER BUDDIES PILOT

-SEVEN HILLS /EDISON SCHOOL FALL 2001

What we did

--  During the first week of October, 2001, PEI piloted its notebook organizing tools with 100 students at Edison Seven Hills Charter School in Worcester. We began with a 1 hour evaluation session. This was followed by a 1 hour teacher training session. Both sessions were run as live demos with Seven Hills students selected at random. This resulted in the selection of one 3rd grade class, one 5th grade class, and a mix of 6th grade students identified for their need to develop better organizing skills. Each was provided the Binder Buddies® notebooks at PEI’s cost.   A set of measurement criteria were provided as well as a diary mechanism for tracking student behavior.  In early December, a survey was done of each student and teacher involved in the study.  One of the teachers also completed a power point presentation which recommended the tools to the Seven Hills school. The raw data from the survey has been provided in a tabulated format which is on file at Edison Corporate. PEI recognizes and appreciates the Seven Hills School for providing an incubator in which Edison was able to observe the daily use of these tools.

Why we did it

-- It was our purpose to show Edison a powerful notebook technology that we believe is the right product at just the right time,for just the right place, Edison. PEI believes it is possible to provide a notebook organizing tool that allows both the teacher and the student to maximize time on task ( or at least significantly increase time on task) while at the same time providing a tool that naturally allows the student to discover the principles and learn the life skill of being self-organized. We have shown that this will yield improved student  performance.  Teachers are often overwhelmed and resort to organizing solutions that can better be labeled "crowd control methods". Binder Buddies is  a tool that  not only puts the teacher/parent/and student on the "same organizing page" but also serves the dual purpose of allowing the child to take control of the process.  This allows a focus on content.  It was our objective to show that Binder Buddies minimizes class disruption from the back and forth action of looking for lost document sets, and at the same time allows the student to learn their cognitive style and think critically about the task of organizing.  We wanted to show that Binder Buddies can result in less time at the locker while enabling the child to discover the best modular structure for their work(to have the right material, at the right location, at the right time of day).  We wanted a Language Arts teacher to have a sure fire way to ensure a key  paper is available for display to a parent, and at the same time enable the Edison student to not only manage their own language arts portfolio, but also  develop their own strategy for keeping an electronic directory of their creative works on their computer.We want to provide additional means for Edison to profitably improve education in the U.S.A.

What we learned from the pilot

--Real benefits in the class room have been achieved in a very short test period. The survey suggests that the teachers see the benefits in the classroom and the students experience the benefits in work flow.

--A first notebook tool for the elementary academy.  It was  observed that if Edison were to use these tools school wide, it would be advisable to start or provide these tools to children in the elementary academy-3rd/4th/5th- where organizing skills are most malleable, and where kids want structure, and at same time are part of group that will not reject the tools without trying them. We know that in junior academy, their is a "genetic" tendency to be more cynical.  Some of these students are discouraged already and set out to undermine systems as a transference reaction.  This can be minimized by the trickle up from 3/4/5.

-- It was observed that these tools had the property of being "do it yourself" in so far as it was possible to establish a resident expert, a teacher who never sat in on any on site training.  The purpose of a resident expert placed a single "certified" person in a school with the knowledge of how all the pieces fit together and insight into how the system works best.

--It was observed that it would be a rare teacher that would not be excited to have a cogent organizing practice that easily organizes their students,offers the potential for a huge gain in organizing skills, and at the same time makes their life easier. 

--Faced with the strain of carrying books of substinative weight, the archiving technique embedded in the PEI BinderBuddies® tool set works to address this burden for every age child. This might be a way to sell it to parents & teachers and involve them in itÕs use. The tools could be considered "just what the doctor ordered". Back to top

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Background

BinderBuddies® and the BinderBuddies® project at Edison

 

- Objectives & Benefits of using BinderBuddies® streamlining notebooks

1. Objective:Offer a notebook that provides for the lowest cost per student/teacher/parent while preserving the ability to implement a uniformly high quality notebook organizing system on a grade wide as well as a school wide basis.

2. Objective: Offer an efficient means of distributing  Binder Buddies® notebook organizing tools to students, teachers, and parents in the Edison family of schools including existing as well as newly contracted Edison Schools.

3. Objective: Over time, permit the lowest cost repeat use of Binder Buddies® from year to year, providing for a longitudinal application of the Binder Buddies® notebook organizing system at Edison Schools each year without compromising or degrading the quality of use.

4. Benefit: Among the 100 test respondents in grades 3, 5, and 6 in the pilot project at Seven Hills School in Worcester, on average over 80% of the respondents said they felt more organized, would like to keep the system, and would recommend it to other Edison Schools. For the teachers, the number of make ups(arrival in class without papers due) decreased, the number of replacement handouts that were needed the next class decreased, the time it took to start teaching a class decreased, and the quality of the class process( student arriving prepared for the content of the day) increased. Other testing has resulted in measured grade point upswings of as many as 5 average points over time.--- Even more importantly, it was discovered that BinderBuddies provides a bridge from paper to computer in that the system provides a fully functional "mechanical file system" that presages the use of filing directories on a computer.

 

-How are BinderBuddies® compatible products packaged and delivered

            Binder Buddies® compatible products are available in two forms.

            1---We offer a direct to school line which is packaged as a full blown KIT SYSTEM for 3 ring binders.  This product is packaged with an End User License for "do it yourself" application by individual classes, grades, schools, or school districts. These kits are also available under a site license which includes access to all of the  educational materials and notebook components and provides for site certification, resident expert installation, and school wide reproduction of certain portions of the material.

            2--The product is also available at Mass Market.  These Binderbuddies® compatible products are available as 1/3/or 5 subject wire bound notebooks, or as a simplified version of the binder kit mentioned in #1, packaged as set of pocketed dividers and a preprinted sticker sheet for labeling the pocket dividers.