More new tools online

The rate at which new tools, mostly online and free, are appearing seems to have ramped up recently. I’ve scarcely had time to register their existence and bookmark them. I’ve certainly not had time to try them all but many of them do seem to have some potential for teaching, learning and research online.

Writeboard is a new tool from 37signals, the company that drives project and persoanl organisation tools, Basecamp and Backpack. Writeboards are sharable, web-based documents that support versions, rollback and subscription. Spaces like this should be able to support collaborative work among teams separated by time and distance.

SynchroEdit is an open source, browser-based simultaneous editor. Multiple users can work in a document at the same time and maintain synchronisation of changes. It seems both more capable and more complex than Writeboard. It provides a WYSIWYG editor rather than the wiki-style tags of some alternatives. It might be interesting to try working with colleagues in such an environment but I expect it might take some getting used to.

Writely is yet another browser-based editing solution. In this case the text can be imported from Word or HTML and exported in various formats, including to a blog. Collaboration is arranged by email.

Mayomi is a free online mind-mapping tool built in Flash. The site claims that the tool is still in development and that features like printing and export may be added in time. For the moment, the best that can be done is to take a snapshot of the map image.

Just in case Backpack is not your choice for an online calendar there is also

There are plenty more out there with new tools and combinations appearing daily. How many of them have any lasting value, for education or otherwise, remains to be seen but their emergence certainly adds a touch of excitement to poking around on the web.

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