On 18 June 2004, Claire Brooks published the following post in the General Forum of the Community. Many thanks to those who participated in the discussion.
Claire: While I am on the hunt for personal recommendations, perhaps some of you know about collaborative writing tools that are crosss platform.
The preferred standard is the Subetheredit. From their website:
"Editing documents in groups can be a challenge. Versioning systems like subversion or cvs help your group to keep a consistent copy of your document, but don't provide realtime collaboration. Wouldn't it be great to edit the same document, live, in realtime, together with everyone in your group? ", but only works on macs. Demonstrations have shown that it a really great tool for writing collaboratively- in real time- would be great for group work amonst other things- I believe has been used for *extreme coding* . Any ideas for a pc or cross platform equivalent?"
Responses from the group:
My experiences in writing collaboratively involve the use of the Dreamweaver site protocols where the latest version of an html document is 'checked in' and cannot be 'checked out' while in use by another user. This takes care of the version control aspects when collaboratively writing web pages.
However for collaboratively writing word documents I've found that the use of the eStudio or other shared web spaces which feature document sharing facilities, will do the trick.
The simple things too often help: like keeping the document name and date updated in the footer. For instance, each new user is encouraged to change the file name to xxxxxxA.doc or xxxxxxB.doc as they update it. This is useful within a small group.
Another simple technique that I often use here in the Community is to upload revised versions of documents into a private forum or special interest group for wider sharing and collaboration. e.g. a topic with several attachments. Forum members can access the latest version, amend and upload with a new name. Good for digital diaries, journals etc.
Another great site for seeking all things collaborative is Kolabora. (http://www.kolabora.com/index.htm) Of course, many will know of Robin Goode and his work on Online Collaboration - find them all at the Kolabora website. Of particular interest is this recent article on
Best Screen Sharing Tools Reviewed At Buyer's Review Last Thursday, June 10th, I reviewed seven different screen-sharing technologies that I had selected as being the most representative options for showing your computer screen remotely on the Internet. The companies/products showcased were: Glance, GoToMeeting, Linktivity WebDemo, eBLVD, Netviewer, Seemyscreen and RealVNC.
Hope this helps.
I am teaching year 11 Multimedia Studies students with blended learning and developing the on-line components myself. The first course was created using The Learning Place's Blackboard LMS (I'm in QLD) and the students (most of them) adapted quite well to their first taste of on-line learning. However, the need for them to see all of the lovely work they each did in their research tasks and the idea that it would be great if they could learn more from each other (as they do in "real" life) has led me to write the next part of their course using the bloki framework (http://bloki.com/). It's free and allows for collaboration, with students having editing access to any pages I unlock. They can also annotate, and work in either design view or html.
All the functions work perfectly on my PC running Windows XP, and according to Bloki will also on a MAC if the browser is Mozilla 1.3 or higher on OSX.Well, I haven't written it yet, but plan to be delivering it in August.
Thanks for your ideas Lyndall and Carole. Currently we are looking at using a variety of things for different purposes, including using the Wiki module added to Drupal for some things. We are also playing around with Marratech's free collaborative tools( audio and video, whiteboard), and not so keen on using VNC, but it is possible for some collaborative development. We are mostly still using these things for small scale pilots rather than large rollouts so would be interested to hear from others who are using them regularly especially as part of 'for credit' courseware.
Hi Claire, Have you looked at Zing. Expensive I believe but they have (or are working on) multiple cursors which enable the facilitator to view and edit/comment in the students screen. The facilitator can view 12 ( I think) screens simultaniously within thier own screen, each with a cursor.
I havn't had a chance to look into this deeper but will have contact with Max (who gave me the info)and organise a showcase possibly through ISPI.