iEtherpad

May 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Posted in Education | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

I was just invited to observe/join in with a colleague using iEtherpad with an online class. Here are a few thoughts about it’s use.

iEtherpad is the latest take on Etherpad. Actually, only in the internet address is the ‘i’ used – I’m not sure why. Etherpad is a great free collaborative tool for working on a document. It is similar to Google docs, however the synchronous interface seems to work much better in Etherpad.

This was the first time my colleague had used in collaboratively with a class (and the first time I had seen it used properly). I would say the first important thing to remember if you want to use it with a class is to make sure you have already set up some key questions for students to answer on the page. This way they can work in groups and put together a document.

It could be used as a sort of ‘chat’ or question/answer area, but it does have it’s own chat function off to the side (which works well).

iEtherpad assigns colours to each person that is online, however it only has a few colours to choose from and these can easily be used up in which case doubleing-up of colours occurs. When in the main document the text is highlighted by the colour of the person typing it. This is fine unless there are 2 or more people with the same colour. It does not show the name of the person typing it in the document. One clever student actually suggested including their name with what they were writing.

Another issue with Etherpad is that as the number of users increases, the number of people dropping off also increases. Hopefully this issue will be able to be resolved.

The timeline function in Etherpad allows you to see everything that has happened on the document over time. You can go back to a certain point and work on it from there or just see the changes that have been made.

The document can currently be exported as txt or html, however this is not always great. It loses the colours of who has had what input. One way around this is to go into the timeline function and print to PDF. Of course not everyone is able to do this.

Overall iEtherpad is a great tool for collobarative work – and very good for students. It is well worth a look and a play.

Advertisements

The wonderful world of Twitter

July 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Posted in Education | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

What is Twitter?

You’ve heard of blogging? Twitter is microblogging. It’s like a blog, but you’re limited to 140 characters to say your piece. This is less than a txt on a cell phone! It’s a way to let people know what you’re doing, or what is happening. It’s like Facebook but with only the status updates!

How does it work?

A user posts tweets which his followers can read. On the users homepage they can read the tweets that the people they are following have written.

Why Tweet?

It’s a good way to let people know what you’re doing. It’s also a good way to catch up on what your friends (or others) are doing. You can follow news sources such as BBC or Time Magazine, even NZ news is available! I use Twitter to find out more about ICT and education!

Tips for Tweeters

1. Post something relevant and regularly. Once a month is not regularly. You probably will want to tweet at least once a week, probably every couple of days. Some tweeters tweet several times a day.

2. It may be a good idea to tweet about a certain topic (eg. I have recently started tweeting and this is mostly about teaching and ICT).

3. Choose who you follow carefully. The tweets for everyone you follow will come up on your homepage when you login. You may not want to read through 5000 tweets!

4. You don’t have to allow everyone access. There are privacy settings available.

5. There are heaps of applications for your browser to do with twitter. Just search for them!

6. Have fun – and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter if you enjoy the blog!

http://twitter.com/ http://twitter.com/nlouwrens/

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: