Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Google Wave

Hey dude surf is up: Google Wave.

Be ready for a barrage of neologisms.

I have finally spent the time to look at this new app from Google and it rocks.What is great about it is that it is web based. It doesn't require more than a computer connected to the web. It is more than a social networking or business tool, it is an educational powerhouse.

Initially, I see it replacing the old list and discussion board because of it's playback feature that let's me or any new member to a conversation see it from the beginning and run through it to now. WOW.

I love how it handles the different conversations in a post. It allows the threads of the various parts to be displayed and for the reader to follow the one s/he wishes. All those tangent conversations are collected and shown, too.

There is a privacy, mode, very cool.

When a new member to the conversation arrives, s/he can be brought up to speed in no time.

It is multimedia and interacts with other Google tools and is friendly on all browsers.

It is a collaborative tool with many synchronous and asynchronous features and it looks like it has solved the synchronous problem of wiki. Simultaneous editing without loss, WOW.

It is a collaborative tool. That means we can use it as a brainstorming tool much like a map we might create with Inspiration. Teachers can use it as a Do Now to start a conversation by getting an initial reaction from all scholars at the same time. Great for accountability. When a group,of students are working on a project they can all work at the same time without deleting anyone's work. This is a truly unique collaborative tool for the classroom.

There is a spell checker that will knock your socks off. It is intuitive and answers Taylor Mali's satirical piece about spell checking. In addition adding links is phenomenal especially as a way of extending the bibliography aspect of a document.

Wave is a new way to look at document production in the classroom.

The various gadgets are excellent like the 'yes, no, maybe' gadget that can be used to immediately survey a class. It is web based so a teacher can use this in class anytime.

Since this is Open Source, users will be able to create apps. This is a boon for teachers to create educational apps.

What I would love to see is these developers consider educational applications for their tools. I always see them in business or social networking models, but never, never as educational tools. Perhaps if developers actually demonstrated educational apps then teachers would use them and teachers wouldn't see them as toys or business tools, but as the powerful educational tool they can be. I know these developers need to make back R&D money by selling these products to business, but what if, and that is a mighty big IF, they actually aimed their pitch at educators and demonstrated them as educational tools with educational applications? WOW!! Education does spend a lot of money. Ask the book publishers. As I was watching the WAVE demo, I was pausing and considering how this would transform a Literature circle, how it would assist with scholars who are absent, how it would be a way for scholars to present to the class. I see many educational ways to use this tool. I'd just love to be in a room of teachers or on a WAVE with teachers exploring the possibilities rather than in my own head. It is just another example of how educators are left out of the development loop and why education is so NOT tech savvy. We in the world of education are never considered in these developments of new and exciting tools. It is our work in the classroom with the citizens of the future where these ideas are conceived and gestated. Why not include educators in development of technology apps?

Heck a colleague was just asking about Google DOCS the other day. Now when did Google docs become available? WAVE might make the educational scene in 2020. I wish these developers would consider the educational landscape when they present their new tools, how else will it proliferate. If nothing else I want to shop and go to Bora Bora.

Post Script:
I'd like to see a Professor Wave in addition to the classic wacky Dr Wave. When are we going to get serious about technology in education? Where is the educator on this development team? Lars are you listening?

Read more in eSchool news.

No comments: