Sunday, September 27, 2009

Using Etherpad in the Classroom

Etherpad is a "real" real-time document collaboration that I've blogged about in the past. (To read about the benefits of Etherpad, click here.) A few days ago, I had the opportunity to use Etherpad with high school students. We were working on content development, and the tool was extremely conducive to collaborative writing and including lots of "juicy details." Interestingly, the students commented that the most helpful/motivating part of the activity was their ability to use the chat feature during work. One student said that they enjoyed the freedom to work and talk at the same time. Hmm... that sounds like a true digital native to me. As teachers, we often think that students need to be focusing on one task at a time. However, this is often not responsive to their needs. Remember, sometimes allowing students to operate on many different levels at once allows them to work in their comfort zone and it raises motivation for students. Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. As a teacher candidate, I recently used etherpad in two Business Leadership classes to collaborate and research information before going on a social action field trip. It was fascinating to see how the students handled themselves in a the multi-user environment. Using the time-line as an assessment tool was a powerful way to see how, when and who was contributing to the document at various times during the day. I also found it useful in observing each student's different writing styles, speed of typing and sentence structure.



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