Friday, February 27, 2009


Back from the Learning @ School 09 Conference in Rotorua and reflecting on the highlights and points to improve on.

On day one the Keynote was Andy Hargreaves speaking on 'The fourth Way of Leadership and Change'. My mind was half on the topic at hand and half on preparing for my own workshop on collaboration. I thought it might be a good opportunity to try out a collaborative tool called Etherpad so I created a document and spread the word on twitter. If you have a look at the doc you'll see text highlighted in different colours, these colours represent the various authors involved from the conference.
The tool was fabulous and worked better than I could have hoped. I actually had to create a second document to accommodate more authors as etherpad only allows 8 participants at a time. I was a little put out but pleased that I couldn't get back into my original document because it was in full use by others. Thinking about it now, it was great having others help me in my note-taking and the collaboration was so successful. I also liked that if I missed or forgot something, someone else added it in.

So how good is it? I think etherpad did what it was setup to do and our group were able to expand on the issues and thinking being put before us. The chat feature is good for clarifying before adding content. It was note-takiing so a little hap-hazard but with a quick review of the PowerPoint provided for the keynote it all made perfect sense.

Thumbs up Etherpad ... 8 1/2 out of 10. More users would be nice, or a copy/paste overflow to a second document.


  1. Really enjoyed the ether pad note taking. Felt a little bit out multi-tasked by so much to take in (read old timer). Thought would really suit other collab and anonimity for shy students looking to find their voice. Maybe 3 pads for a class reflection. eg Watch vid no notes --> watch vid take notes --> refine collab --> present reflect act

  2. Was great to meet you in person Heath. The Etherpad was a great idea, I found it focused me on points I missed. I can see great uses for it in the classroom.