Some have begun teaching peer review and revision in high school using Google Docs. Fair enough, if your school has committed to Google Apps accounts for everyone in the community.
Our alternative is Gobby. Gobby is a collaborative, synchronous text composition and editing tool. Given its feature set, it’s clearly designed for programmers and coders (syntax highlighting, for example). Nevertheless, it is no less effective for writers in English 11 than it is for the coders in advanced information systems.
Gobby is the client; Infinoted is the server side tool that keeps track of who’s editing where, stores the documents, and color codes the contributions.
It’s home on the web seems to be here. Per the site:
Gobby is a free collaborative editor supporting multiple documents in one session and a multi-user chat. It runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and other Unix-like platforms.
Featured are cataloged here, screenshots are available here, and testimonials here. I don’t think the website does it justice. Gobby has become an essential tool for composition for the juniors I work with: in one scenario one student composes while rest of the class works on either mechanical, grammatical, conventional polishing, or else on more substantive revision - word choice, concision, verbs that convey action, awareness of audience, unity of purpose.
I’ve left out that I work exclusively with student with language-based learning differences that can severely affect writing fluency and adherence to convention. However, using Gobby, a single composition that’s been filtered through the peer revision of everyone in the section or even the entire junior class demonstrates none of the markers one might expect from a member’s work.
If you’d like more information, please don’t hesitate to ask.
It gets better: my lab is entirely free and open source software (excluding flash); Gobby paired with afterthedeadline and LibreOffice is a strategic win.