The CPI has recently launched our public pilot of a Brock University Etherpad service.
Etherpads are an excellent way to collaborate seamlessly on documents.
Many have struggled to create one document from many minds. Most have concluded that E-Mailing around a text file leaves a lot to be desired. A number of technologies have come along to try to solve this problem. Here are a few examples of the evolution of these solutions and their draw-backs:
- Microsoft Share point - high barrier to entry
- Wikis - Idiosyncratic and not organized around ONE document
- Google Docs - Requires a separate, Google-based, account to work with
- Etherpads - Great for collaboration, but the security, privacy and ownership can't be relied upon
To that end the CPI has created an Etherpad service for Brock University staff and faculty to create Etherpads to share with whomever they'd like. Pads can be shared on the public internet or limited to a class in Isaak/Sakai.
For those unfamiliar, an Etherpad is a web-based collaborative real-time document, allowing participants to simultaneously edit a text document, and see all of the participants' edits in real-time, with the ability to display each author's text in their own colour. Text is synchronized as each contributor types, so that everyone viewing the document sees the same text. Each author has different colouring for whatever they type. Those with access can use the Time Slider feature to see how the pad progressed. Here is an exmple Etherpad https://kumu.brocku.ca/pad?pID=g.zEm3N4n9HUd8BfKg$65