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aPLaNet ICT Tools Factsheets_13_Typewithme

aPLaNet ICT Tools Factsheets_13_Typewithme

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Published by Burcu Akyol

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Published by: Burcu Akyol on Jan 19, 2012
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01/03/2014

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The project Autonomous “Personal Learning Networks” for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the
European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsiblefor any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Resource Number 13
 
Typewithme
URLhttp://typewith.meCategory IV
Collaboration Tools
 –
Wikis
Keywords
collaboration, editable, shared resources
Rationale
Distant collaboration and sharing of ideas has become an imperative need in the modern word and for work and education.Some of the simplest online tools that allow this come in a document sharing format. This involves creating a document onlineand then sharing it with multiple online users who can add or edit the content synchronously
 
with ability to see the changes
(each user’s addition is highlighted in a different colour) and finally store it in the cloud for immediate access and futur 
e use.
DescriptionTypewithme
is a very user-friendly document sharing tool which requires little technical expertise and offers ease of access,since there is no registration process to go through. Once the user is connected to
http://typewith.me
, a new document canbe created immediately, as shown on the right:
Typewithme
features a basic word processing tool, on top of the text window and various editing, exporting and savingoptions on the top bar. Sharing the document is very easy through the sidebar: a unique URL is created to sent to contributorsvia e-mail or instant messaging or by using the inbuilt e-mail form if you so wish. On the sidebar there is also a chat window,for further synchronous communication.One of its most useful features is that it highlights the content added by each separate user, assigning a different colour toeach contributor. In this way, one can view what has been contributed and by whom at a glance, which facilitates pinpointingnecessary changes in content and avoiding repetition, while working on the document synchronously.
Resources required
 All that is needed is a basic functional Internet connection. This tool is very user-friendly and suitable for less experiencedtechnology users.
Obligatory resources
 
Desktop computer or laptop
 
Internet connection (not necessarily broadband)
 
 Active e-mail account
CostCompletely freeSetup and Configuration
Minimal action is required, as demonstrated in the
Description
section. After clicking on Create a New Document, all that isneeded is typing a name for each contributor in the box provided on the sidebar. This step is not necessary if you have usedTypewithme before, since it automatically saves the name you have used in your previous documents.
Styling
 
There are the options of hiding the sidebar and viewing the text in Full Window mode, both of which provide morescreen space for the actual text and are accessible by clicking on the corresponding buttons at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen.
 
Basic text format options are accessible through the word processing tool, but there are no font options offered.
 
By clicking on the
Options
tab on the top bar, automatic line numbering and authorship colours may be deactivated,if so preferred.
 
Finally, each user may choose the colour their content will be highlighted in from a limited selection of eight colours.
 
 
2
The project Autonomous “Personal Learning Networks” for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the
European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsiblefor any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Navigation and operation
There are four tabs on top bar of a Typewithme document, available to all contributors:
 
Options:
This has been covered in the Description section. It should be added that it also offers a choice of twofonts.
 
Import / Export:
This enables importing full documents in a variety of formats from the the hard disk into
Typewithme
, for sharing or editing purposes. It also allows exporting the created document
 –
in a slightly different
and larger variety of formats. The document is saved on the user’s hard
disk.
 
Saved Revisions:
Through this feature all saved versions of the document can be viewed, a previous version canbe restored if necessary or desirable and each version can be assigned a different name.
 
Time Slider:
This innovative, dynamic feature records all the changes made to the document along a time line, onthe top of the screen. By clicking on the
Play
button next to it, one can watch the document evolve as if in a shortvideo clip. Various options are offered on the sidebar, enabling the separate editing, sharing and downloading of each individual saved version of the document at any given point along the time line. Apart from being a valuablerecording tool, this makes working on Typewithme much more versatile and flexible.
Implementation methodology
 This tool can be used for sharing and editing content in a variety of education contexts. A teacher may create a Typewithmedocument and share it with learners, who can add to it or edit it. The learners themselves can create their own documents andshare them with classmates and eventually their teacher. Finally, teachers can collaborate with each other in producingwritten content for various purposes.
Teaching/Learning ideas:
Here are some ideas on what it could be used for in a distant or blended leaning context:
 
brainstorming activities
 
collaborative story writing
 
editing and providing feedback to written assignments
 
collaborative work on a reading text, using the chat feature to negotiate content before recording it on the documentitself.
 
project work, as a drafting platform
 
other task-based learning activities
 
note-
taking during a plenary speaking activity, in which one or all of the contributors can add to the “minutes”
 
 
practising negotiation of meaning in a written context generally, e.g. agreeing on a timetableIn all the above situations the time line feature can be used to record the stages of the work in progress and provide valuabledata for further analysis.
 
 
 
3
The project Autonomous “Personal Learning Networks” for Language Teachers has been funded with support from the
European Commission. This document reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsiblefor any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Example of implementationType of lesson:
General English course
Level:
B1 of CEFR
Lesson Title:
Writing collaborative stories and practicing past tenses using Typewithme format
Age group:
Primary school students (aged 11 to 14)
Number of students involved:
30
Duration:
90 minutes + work on the
 
Introduction:
T presents the SS the aim of today lesson: To help SS to move past passive learning to activelearning, to find better ways of engaging themselves in the learning process and practice use of past tenses.
 
Lead-in
: T introduces the class to the format of Typewithme and explains what the usage might be. Then he
presents the aim of today’s lesson –
to tell a story using past tenses.
 
Focus:
SS will work together divided into groups or pairs to compose their task. In groups the SS are asked tochoose 10 or 15 verbs and to use the past tense forms of these verbs into a short meaningful composition. Each SSwill contribute to the creation of the story by adding his or her text using Typewithme. The final version of thegroup's composition is sent to the T.
 
Follow up
: The composition can be viewed online. All the updates can be viewed marked in a different colour. Thenext screenshot shows how Typewithme can be used for commenting on a piece of written work:

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