I was, quite happily getting on with the usual Saturday morning work (reports to write, courseowrk to mark, but I’m spending all my time checking on forums, Facebook and Twitter) when I see a tweet from @mbarrow about a group of people doing something on some website – and there was a URL.
So I clicked away, and sure enough @teachernz has started a document on Etherpad for a number of teachers to explore (also present were @mrs_banjer & @scratchie). I described it as a streamlined wiki on speed. You only get one page and you can’t embed anything, but you get up to 8 people editing a live document simultaneously. No refusing to save because someone else is editing – you see what is happening live; each user having their own colourscheme so you can see who is adding/deleting/improving what.
I see huge potential for collaborative group work and the whole thing just seems to work very well.
It’s not perfect for a classroom situation – small group size, the ability to deface others’ work with ease, the lack of accountability as you can have the same colours as someone else, no logging in so someone could use a false name, etc. – but to solve those issues you would have to compromise somewhere else and you end up with a Wiki. Which is great for when you need one. And this is great when you need something else!
Edit: Clearly one of the issues is the lack of clarity over exactly who said what, to whom and when. As a result of which I now believe that @mbarrow started the document and not @teachernz. Either way, a great little web app and one I shall be returning to often, I feel.