Visualize Your Document Changes with Draftback


Recently, I was introduced to this cool Chrome extension called Draftback. It works with your Google Docs to track the changes you (or your students or collaborators or whoever) have made in the document and allows you to visualize them.

When you click on the Draftback box now located in the top right corner of your Google Doc, you can generate a playback of the changes. I chose a collaboratively-written document that my students wrote last year. As you can see, there were almost 3500 changes made to the document.



When you press play, you get the following:

You can speed up or slow down the playback (this one is sped up even further so I could make a gif of reasonable length.

You can also see a static visualization of the edits.

Screen of static visualization


This could be a great tool to use with students to visualize their writing (and editing!) process, and a space where they can reflect on said process in a unique way. One could imagine, as well, students doing a screencast over the video, narrating what was happening.

How do you see yourself using this tool in your teaching or your own writing practice?

Image by Nic McPhee licensed CC-By 2.0

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