Storytelling is taking on all kinds of new forms in the Web 2.0 era. Now, thanks to a range of new software, students can not only flex their writing wings, but do it together, by creating group-led e-books, fictional stories, blogs, op-eds, and petitions, and, in some cases, see their edits and additions. Collaboratively producing a finished product that's full of the trappings of its process can be pretty exciting.
To that end, here are a handful of examples of collaborative writing tools with classroom applications. Of course, these can be used outside the classroom, too.
MixedInk: MixedInk, a free online interface that allows users to work collaboratively on anything from fiction to mission statements, recently launched a slew of education-related features. At MixedInk.com/educator, the software is beefed up with classroom-specific tools, such as authorship tracking, realtime suggestions (students can comment on one another's work as it appears), and peer evaluation.
Protagonize: Users can write an entire book collaboratively on this site -- either by starting their own or adding to an existing story's draft. Signing up is free, and comments are easy, so students can offer constructive feedback to their classmates' work as well as "rate" the site's existing content. There are also plenty of opportunities to network with other writers and gather resources, tips, and constructive criticism.