Last December on the blog, Etherpad was showcased as a great collaborative tool for in-class brainstorming sessions. Etherpad functioned like a word processing document online where users could type simultaneously. I know many people were using Etherpad with their students and were shocked when Google purchased the site and shut it down. There was an immediate backlash across the web where Google was portrayed as some evil monster that gobbled up competitors. In response to this, Google released the Etherpad code as open source which would allow anyone to develop a site similar to Etherpad on their own, which is exactly what happened. Just a few months after Etherpad was shut done, a bunch of Etherpad clones have appeared on the web. Since they’re based on the same original code, the sites look and function almost identically. They also look and function like Etherpad did, which is great news since Etherpad was so easy to use. Be sure to check out the following sites and select one that fits your needs. They can all be used for an impromptu brainstorming session without requiring students to log-in to participate. I’ve also included the original Etherpad tutorial which should help people who want to get started with any of these sites.