Collaborative Note Taking

At Twin Cities Drupal Camp each session had a collaborative note taking Web page using Google Docs. Brilliant idea! This also allows the speaker to review the information afterwards and supplement the notes with additional resources. (The pages are only available to conference attendees.) In addition to the information the speaker presented, the audience was able to add their own experience to the page. My talks were supplemented with extra resources for questions that were asked as well as the occasional dissenting opinion (I loved that too!).

There were three important aspects to the collaborative note taking that I want to emphasize.

  1. Note taking was accessible to anyone taking part in the shared experience (links weren’t for ‘administrators’ only).
  2. Note taking happened real time during the presentation.
  3. Note taking was collaborative (many could edit at once).

Although the camp was using Google Docs, it would have been just as effective with another system. If you are inside a firewall you could still use a local installation of EtherPad (http://etherpad.org/) on an internal server.