A ‘wave’ is a group conversation with lots of added functionality. There’s work waves, product waves, party waves – waves allow you to do whatever with whoever, whenever. It works, in pretty much real time, because it’s all in the cloud. You can also have ‘Learning Waves’.
Waves are hosted conversations combine email, messenger and social networking and media sharing – faster, more like real F2F group conversation with playback, drag and drop from desktop to browser.
It pulls in mobile, blogs, Twitter, aggregates conversations, allows group editing, docs can include wave conversations (hide & show), spellchecks as you type, creates links a you type, polls, supports multilingual and has real time translation in 40 languages. APIs allow you to use and extend these services.
So that’s it, an open source, browser-based, personal communication and collaboration tool – Google Wave. The productivity improvements in all forms of human endeavour are phenomenal.
So what’s the impact on e-learning?
First, the creation of e-learning content should be quicker and cheaper. The design, development and delivery can all benefit from Wave as a productivity tool. You can get the design done with designers, SMEs, managers in real time, or at least much faster than the traditional methods, even with people who speak different languages. User-tested development can be very quick and debugging and testing much faster.
Second, Wave could be used to teach and learn in groups. Think of a 'wave' as a learning experience, a ‘learning wave’.
A ‘Learning Wave’ can allow any combination of teacher(s) and student(s) to:
- step back and forth through content
- pull in/share resources
- pull in links
- provide live feedback
- poll the group
- assess the group
- teach in multiple languages (translates in real time)
If you want the full geeky 90 minute demo:
Added to that astonishing functionality such as natural language spelling (the demo shows it changing Ikland is an Iklans into Iceland is an Island on the fly) and simultaneous translation between English and French via an IM like client but so much better.
Oh did you spot that it's open source with open source API's so can be incorporated within existing apps.
This does to social networking what Frank Whittle did to the biplane !
Can't wait! I watched about half of the demo video a while back. Will it need to be especially installed (what happens if I have it intstalled but my friend doesn't?) or is Gmail just going to change automatically?
Microsoft presumably pissed off. They are launching something called BING (But It's Not Google) but the one review I read was underwhelmed.
Is this going to kill the virtual classroom tools sector?
Don, thanks for explaining this so simply!
It's quite exciting as you read the Waves Protocol and the possibilities developers can have with Wave Robots. It opens up a lot of possibilities for simulation and timed events happening in the collaborative workspace, gives a real blend of synchronous and asynchrononous if used correctly. Am already dreaming up applications for learning, this is probably the most exciting development from Google since they re-invented Search.
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