Posted by: Paula Lenox | July 21, 2010


Are you looking for that classroom tool to keep your kids on task while in the computer lab?  Collaboration in the 21st Century workplace is more common than you might think.  EtherPad is one of many great tools (we will look at others this year!) you can use in the classroom.  Like Google Documents, EtherPad provides your class with a forum for collaboration, but it takes that collaboration to a higher point by providing a chat window, and color coding what student types in what information, you get a clearer picture of what students are on task, who has a solid grasp on the topic and who might be missing the boat.  Multiple people can enter text into the window and you see instantly what others are typing.

What caught my attention was the ability to review the timeline of what was typed into the pad.

So what is a teacher to do with a tool like this?

  • Think – Pair – Share – group students in pairs and have the anonymously debate a topic and come up with a resolution
  • Small group discussion
  • Creative writing  assignment
  • Class story
  • Share taking notes and post to a class wiki (Scribe)
  • Share note taking from Content area textbook

This is just a handful of ideas, I am sure you can find other ways to use this tool with your class.  Stop back and share your experiences!


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