Welcome to another mid week posting highlighting a Great Web Catch. Collaboration is one of those important 21st Century Skills for students and a needed process for teacher planning. Late last year, EtherPad, a plain and simple collaboration tool, was purchased by Google to be incorporated in the Google Wave and Google Doc product. EtherPad then disappeared! I am happy to proclaim there is a new Etherpad called TitanPad! I was so happy to see an old friend back that I wrote two posts in one day! Read On! – Mike (@mjgormans) on twitter
EtherPad had been known as a valuable tool, allowing instant and easy collaboration for students and teachers. As the site had proclaimed, “Etherpad is simply the most frictionless way to get people on the same page.” The real attraction to EtherPad was the lack of requirement for a user account, sign in, or email. As you are aware, this is a definite plus in the educational setting. When Etherpad turned off the lights and disappeared I needed to find a product that matched it in simplicity and usability! While Wallwisher and CoSketch are awesome tools, neither quite matched simple, reliable, EtherPad!
Until the introduction of TitanPad! Its collaboration the easy way, again! All that is needed is a visit to http://titanpad.com and a press of a button called Create Public Pad. After this quick process, a new public pad is created for the user in TitanPad. The user then shares the URL for the pad with others. What ever is typed from where ever, is displayed on the page in real time. There is even a chat window! This is a great tool for those that need to bring up a quick collaboration tool on the fly. It is useful in the classroom for students to communicate point of need help in Project Based Learning, collaborate as a group, keep teacher aware of group progress, communicate beyond walls, and interview authors and experts. It allows teachers to collaborate on text documents, keep meeting notes, and draft plans. TitanPad allows each line entered by a collaborator to have a different number for easy reference. Authors are also given color codes and can even be given a label or name. Best of all, work can be saved and exported as an HTML, plain text, bookmarked file, Microsoft Word, PDF, or Open document. Different revisons can be documented and a time slider is provided to show when revisions are made. Users must be aware that the only way to keep open pads private is to safeguard the URL. For this reason private information should not be shared. The Austrian based group has even stated that subdomains are coming soon! TitanPad is based on the open-source release of EtherPad. If you were use to EtherPad – you’ll feel like at home with TitanPad, it works exactly the same. It is sure nice to have an old friend back!
Hope this post helps you out and as always feel free to follow me on Twitter at (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we can learn from each other. Also remember, I will be hosting one of the ISTE: Technology In Practice Webinar Series on May 12, 2010. Please join me there and at my 21centuryedtech Wiki. I look forward to your future visits and remind you to subscribe to this blog by email or RSS. Make sure you take a look at TitanPad and enjoy easy collaboration! Have a great week! – Mike