Ready to try out student collaboration, but not quite ready to commit to Google Apps? Then you and your class should look at Titan Pad. Titan Pad is a great tool for the classroom. It allows anyone to create “pop up” collaborative writing opportunities. With no log in requirement, it is possible for students to create their own collaborative spaces or for a teacher to prepare several, differentiated spaces prior to a lesson.
Titan Pad allows the user to generate individualized urls, so that the work created can be easily found, reducing lost admin time and maximizing curriculum learning time. Each Pad can accommodate up to eight collaborators at any one time. Titan Pad is easy to use and has several great additional benefits. First it keeps a “video” record of every keystroke, every addition and every deletion.
Each contributor to the document is colour coded and so a teacher can easily determine who was on task and who was not. The video play back option is also great for students to observe how their ideas grew and flourished as they collaborated. The chat bar is also a great tool for the students to use to learn how to negotiate their way through the etiquette of digital collaboration. Again this chat element is not able to be deleted or edited by the students, so there is a record of who said what to whom!
Titan Pad’s greatest asset in my opinion is the ability for students to learn how to collaborate in a virtual setting. In the first instance student continually overwrite each others work, because they have not learned to negotiate how to take turns to get the collaboration growing. With a blank space and a blinking cursor in the top left of the screen it is no wonder that they all overtype each other and get frustrated. To mitigate this I create templates prior to my lessons which have already uploaded to Titan Pad so that each collaborator has their own space to write to get started and then can read, reflect and update the work of others and the work as a whole there after.
Titan Pad allows the user to upload Word documents, but beware, it strips out all formatting, so do not spend any time making documents look “just so.” Once the students have created their document, this too can be downloaded as either a PDF or as a Word document to be published as the teacher or students see fit.
It’s a great tool and our tutorial below is a great introduction to this tool. Where the individual teacher takes it after that with their students is down to planning and imagination.
You can check out our tutorial on Titan Pad below:
There are many more free e-Learning tutorials on our website, please help yourselves.