Webtop Application

What is a Webtop application and why would educators want to use them?

One of the exciting developments with Web 2.0 is the creation of sites that host applications once available just on personal computers, such as word processors and spreadsheets. In addition to being able to create and save files that can then be accessed from any Internet-connected computer, file creators can share them with other users by designating individual collaborators, enabling two or more people in different locations to work on the same document at the same time. The Webtop applications I’ve tried also allow the creator to review changes and revert to an earlier version of the document, when necessary. Popular sites currently include the word processor "Writely", now part of Google, the spreadsheet JotSpot Tracker, and the diagram- and flowchart-maker Gliffy, with new sites appearing regularly. Most offer at least a limited free subscription, while others are completely free. Imagine the possibilities for educators and students! Any task that requires collaboration can be significantly enhanced with the use of a Webtop application.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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