Part 3… Digital Collaboration Series… TitanPad… No Student Login… A 21st Century Tool!

Welcome to the third in a series of posts that will inform you of  some amazing collaboration tools for your 21st century classroom. These tools promise  ease of use, no student log in, and limited teacher set up, allowing for just in time use. After a short read of each post, you will have the ability to use one, or all, of these tools in your next lesson or educator meeting. Before introducing this third tool… I want to  thank you for continuing to return and for continuing to share this blog with others. If you haven’t subscribed please take a moment to do so. You can be guaranteed future posts by subscribing by either RSS or email. I also invite you to follow me on Twitter at mjgormans. I really do enjoy  networking with all of you! Now… about  that third collaborative tool. Have a great week!

The past two posts stated how  TodaysMeet and Linoit are awesome tools, yet both are quite different from the very basic and reliable, TitanPad!  You will soon see that TitanPad is really a simplistic Google Doc… with out the fuss!  All that is needed to use TitanPad is a visit to…  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  of  the created pad with others. What ever is typed from where ever, is displayed on the page in real time. Yes… I did say “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 allows students to:

1. Communicate point of need help in Project Based Learning

2. Collaborate as a group,

3. Keep teacher aware of group progress

4. Communicate beyond walls

5. Interview authors and experts

It allows teachers to:

1. Collaborate with each other and saving as a document

2. Keep meeting notes

3. Draft plans

4. Post a discussion

5. Seek student input

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 (remember privacy rules). 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.

TitanPad incorporates two types of pads.

The first is the public pad. Users must be aware that the only way  to keep these public pads somewhat private… is to safeguard the URL. On a public pad, private information should not be shared outside the classroom.  Upon entering a pad that has been shared, users will be asked for a name. Remember that students should never give their full names or enter any personal or other revealing information on a pad (this includes the text they type). This should be part of any proper Digital Citizenship Program, as others outside your group could view the pad if they guessed or otherwise accessed the submitted address.

The  second type of pad is for those wanting a little extra security. You can read about this second type, which allows for a subdomain / private spaces feature.   In this area the authors of TitanPad claim that  team members  will have a little more security by using some limited  password protection. Regardless of this protection, proper digital citizenship including adherence to privacy should be followed.

When using any Web 2.0 tool always seek the guidance of your school AUP and administration.  TitanPad is based on the open-source release of EtherPad which was an early version of this collaborative web tool.  If you were ever a user of EtherPad  – you’ll feel like at home with TitanPad, it works exactly the same. Possibly it is time that you create a pad allowing  for real time collaboration in today’s 21st century classroom. Make your classroom the Titan of modern day collaboration!

Did you miss the first two tools in thois digital collaboration series. Then check them out:

Well, there you have it… the third in a series dedicated to online digital collaboration tools.  Now is the time to engage in some networking! Please continue to join me as I expound on other ways you can promote collaboration and other 21st century skills.  But that’s not all… future posts will also contain resources on Digital Curriculum,  evaluating web resources, Project Based Learning, STEM, Web 2.0, and so much more on 21st Century Learning. Please take a moment to subscribe by RSS or email! Your subscription means a lot to me and I thank you in advance. You can also give this article a retweet if you scroll to the bottom! It’s a great way to spread the word and I appreciate your support. Remember to follow me on Twitter at mjgormans. Thanks, and until next time… find a way to get your classroom to work  together effectively and safely using  digital collaboration efforts.  Have a great week! – Mike

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