This week I visited a good friend in his Middle School Social Studies classroom and watched as his students were finishing up a project using a online collaborative document tool called Titanpad.com. He told me a little bit about how the kids were using it and some of the pros and cons of the tool. I said that it sounded a lot like Google Docs and he explained why he felt it was even better.
TitanPad allows students to work simultaneously on a document similar to a Google Doc but does not require a user account. His students simply needed the link to the “public pad” he created, they added their name in one of the toolboxes next to a color block so that he could monitor their participation, and they were off and running. They had access to basic formatting tools and individuals additions were color coded so that they could see who what adding what content. They saved changes as they went and had access to previously saved versions. When the class time was over someone saved the document and it was ready to go for the next day.
Other features: TitanPad also allows for importing from text file, HTML, Word, or RTF file or exporting to text file, HTML, Word, RTF, PDF, Bookmark, or OpenOffice files. There is also a chatting feature and a “time slider” that allows a user to “play” the document and watch the document develop over time.
Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.