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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Google Wave Opens to Everyone - Now It's Useful

When Google unveiled Wave last year, I was excited to try it out. After much waiting I received a beta invite and tried it out. After a week or so of using it I wrote that it could be useful for Personal Learning Networks. Then when I attended the Google Teacher Academy we discussed ways in which Google Wave could be used in the classroom. The one problem with all of these ideas was that Google Wave was only available to people who had beta invites. So while it was great to talk about what could be done, it could only be put into practice on a limited basis. Today, Google changed that by making Wave available to everyone. According to The Google Wave Blog now anyone using Google Apps for Education or other versions of Google Apps can add Wave to the list of services they're using.

The video below offers an overview of some ways that groups can use Google Wave.


Applications for Education
Google Wave could be a great way to have a backchannel discussion in a course. In Wave you can play back the entire course of a conversation. This option could be useful for students who were absent from a class meeting to see how a conversation developed. Being able to add images, maps, and videos into a Wave makes Wave more than just a chat or email service. Online conversations could take on a new depth when more media is introduced.

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