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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Primary Pad - An EtherPad Alternative

EtherPad is an excellent free tool for real-time collaboration on documents. Unfortunately, EtherPad is shutting down for good later this week. The good news is the code for EtherPad has been made open source and therefore plenty of EtherPad clones are popping-up on the web. One such clone is Primary Pad.

Primary Pad offers all of the free options that EtherPad offered. Using Primary Pad you can create a new document in one click. Your document can be shared with the world via email or by posting your document's unique url online. Each person that collaborates on your document can have their own text highlighting color. These colors help you keep track of changes to your document. Primary Pad also offers some additional services for educators, but those services do require a licensing agreement after a three month free trial. Learn more about Primary Pad in the video below.

Primarypad - Etherpad Guide from ian addison on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Primary Pad could be a good tool for hosting online brainstorming sessions. Students can type ideas or use the drawing functions of Primary Pad to share their thoughts. If you or your students would like a permanent record of their brainstorming session, you can export the document to PDF.

You may also be interested in exploring another EtherPad alternative called TitanPad.