Showing posts with label etherpad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label etherpad. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Entri - Free, Registration-Free Document Collaboration

Entri is a free document collaboration tool that doesn't require registration to use. Entri's goal is to make document collaboration as quick and easy as possible. To start a document on Entri, just click the big "create your entri" button. Entri assigns your document a unique url that you can share via email or with Twitter. Once your document is developed to a point at which you no longer want it edited by other, click the "lock" button to prevent any further changes by others.

Applications for Education
Entri could be a convenient tool for students to quickly take notes as a group, record brainstorming sessions, and create outlines.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Titan Pad - An Ether Pad Clone
Primary Pad - An Ether Pad Alternative

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TitanPad - An EtherPad Clone

When Google purchased real-time document collaboration platform EtherPad's parent company Appjet in December, EtherPad's code was made public. EtherPad itself no longer exists, but some similar services have popped-up. Most notable perhaps is TitanPad. TitanPad uses the EtherPad API to provide a free platform for real-time document collaboration.

TitanPad is essentially a clone of the original EtherPad. With TitanPad anyone can instantly create a collaborative document. You do not have to create an account to use TitanPad, in fact creating an account isn't even an option. To get started just click "create public pad," enter your name, and start typing. To invite people to collaborate, just share the url assigned to your TitanPad. Every collaborator on TitanPad is given a unique color to highlight the text they've added. Try it now on this document that I started.

Applications for Education
TitanPad could be used as a platform for quickly hosting and recording an online brainstorming session with your students. As accounts aren't necessary you won't lose any classroom time to getting students through a registration process. Earlier this year Kristen Swanson wrote a guest post for me in which she shared how she used EtherPad and the Week In Rap with her students, read that post here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Using Technology to Find Students

Using technology tools with high school students is always a good idea. Okay, maybe that statement is a bit bold, but let’s face the truth. High school students are more connected to online forums, Facebook accounts, and cell phones than ever before. Meeting students “where they are” requires meeting them online.

Knowing that students are comfortable in collaborative digital arenas, I felt compelled to try a few technology tools with a tough group of students this fall. These students were very diverse, they all struggled with writing, and they HATED school.

What can I say? I love a challenge!

I started small. I replaced Time Magazine articles with “The Week in Rap” to teach a current event lesson one Friday. (The Week in Rap is a hilarious music video that summarizes the week’s events in less than 5 minutes!) At first, my hooded sweatshirt-wearing cherubs were skeptical. By the end of the segment, they were begging me to watch it again! After using this tool, I was ready to take them to the next level: Etherpad!

What’s Etherpad you ask? Well, Etherpad is a free tool that allows users to collaborate in real real time. There’s no need to refresh your screen with Etherpad, it automatically updates every .5 seconds! To top it off, there are no sign-ins required. I should also note that Etherpad was recently bought by Google, but they have open sourced the code resulting in alternatives such as Pirate Pad.

After watching the “The Week in Rap” video, I asked them to find a computer. I had already opened an Etherpad on each computer, so the students only needed to turn on their monitor. I pre-populated the Etherpad with a prompt relative to the video we had just watched regarding the unemployment rate for teens.

At first, the silence in the room was deafening. Then, gasps and questions came flying out. “Hey, Jason’s typing on MY screen.” Then, “Whoa. There’s a chat box. Are we ALLOWED to use that?!?!” After the first five minutes, the students figured out that they were supposed to work together to answer the question that I provided. I was amazed. I had not provided the students with a single verbal prompt or redirection, and they were using the tool to write a response together. Before I knew it, they had drafted a coherent answer to the question together. Their single response was much better than anything they had written individually all year.

Then the magic really began. I played back their responses using the “time slider” and they watched their ideas develop. Then we talked about it.

I asked them:
  • How did you help each other?
  • How did you respect each other’s ideas?
  • Do you think your collaborative response was better than your individual response? Why?

For the first time, students who thought that school couldn’t teach them anything were present. They saw the power of working together, and they were extremely proud of their product.

I don’t think that any of the tools I used revolutionized the classroom setting. However, those tools allowed me to meet students in a place where they felt comfortable. While I have a long way to go with my personal learning and my instruction, I know that using innovative tools will help me meet my students in environments that allow them to thrive!

Kristen Swanson is a Program and Training Specialist that is passionate about helping students with special needs in Bucks County, PA. She shares her work with the world on her wiki and her blog. She would love to hear from you! She can be contacted here.

Computer keys source is available here.
Puzzle source is available here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

EtherPad Improves History/ Revision Viewer

EtherPad, the real-time document collaboration tool that I featured in a post yesterday, has launched a new feature they're calling Time-Slider. Time-Slider allows users to easily review all of the changes that have been made to their documents. To learn more about EtherPad's Time-Slider feature, watch the video embedded below.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TokBox & EtherPad Offer Real-time Collaboration

TokBox recently partnered with EtherPad to offer collaborative document creation accompanied by video conferencing. TokBox provides free video conferencing that can accomodate multiple users in each conference. EtherPad offers real-time document collaboration. Through the integration of EtherPad into TokBox users can talk about changes to a document while enacting those changes at the same time. This is a distinct improvement over document collaboration environments where users can only change a document, but cannot discuss the rationale for changes to a document.

To learn more about using TokBox and EtherPad together, watch the short video embedded below.

Applications for Education
The combined services of TokBox and EtherPad make it possible to edit documents and discuss those edits at the same time. This could be every useful for anyone that teaches online as teachers can explain to students the reasons for changes in a document. The TokBox and EtherPad combination could also be useful for students who are developing reports collaboratively.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Connecting Classrooms Through VoiceThread
Zoho Notebook for Web Research Organization
Teambox - A Collaborative Team Workspace