Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs are very powerful web-based products.
They work so nicely in the classroom – provided the students have email addresses, are able to work with the powerful products and find the menu items that do what they need to do. Then, there’s the sharing and the hand-ins and …
From the fertile mind of Brian Aspinall, comes a collaborative word processor option for those that don’t need the high-end, high-powered options. He’s called it Scrawlar. Think of it as a word processor with just the right number of tools.
You have two options when you visit the site. Log in as a teacher or a student. (Students need to have a class code and password to get access to the system. No password is required and you can make the code as simple or as involved as you wish)
There certainly are limited functions so that students and teacher can get right at it. The editing environment is similarly straight lined. No advertising or other distractions. Just an editor with enough functionality. I put them all to the test as you see below.
There is a “View Source” so that you can see the web language behind your document. I’m not sure that many will have a need to use that.
The only real gotcha, at this point in the development, is the insertion of images. The image must already be posted on the web and you provide the web address to the image. Conceivably, the teacher would provide the image in the document being shared with the students.
Speaking of students, Brian has included a straight forward management system to handle the student accounts.
And, he’s has managed to make all of this available to you for free.
If you’re looking for a simplified interface, with cloud storage, and the ability to share word processing documents, make sure you check out Scrawlar. It might be just what you’re looking for!
If you like what you see, check out my interview with Brian to see the other projects he’s created, all with ease of student use in mind.