Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Collaborative Writing Tools (like Google Docs)

The one problem with Google Docs is that it does not allow users to get on without an email.  Since I want to use collaborative writing tools with my students in the telecollaborative project, I needed to find another resource.  I think I have found it in MixedInk.

So far this service seems pretty cool.  I highly recommend the tutorial video which features quite possibly the best politician EVER!  Anyway, after creating a class and a fake project, it was easy to see how this could be used.  It is not quite a Google Doc, and I am not sure if students can work on the same document at the same time (I haven't been able to test it).  You can set up deadlines and have students vote on segments and drafts so that all is decided democratically.  The major benefit is that you can give students the address and they can access it.  

My plan with this service is to link up with Megan's fourth grade class (connecting one of my fourth grade classes) to do some collaborative writing.  We are considering our options, and realize that the writing does not need to be synchronous, in fact that may be too difficult.  Therefore, MixedInk could work really well.  Still, I feel the need to find other sources that are free and allow for synchronous writing.

Don't forget writeboard.  Steve posted this good idea on his blog.  I like that it doesn't require a gmail account, although it seems to need an email. 

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