Thursday, December 3, 2009

Google Wave at School

I took some time yesterday and this morning to play with Google Wave.
My friend George is a bit ahead of me on waving, so it was good to try it out with him. He walked me through a couple of things using the embedded file features and got me out to the public waves. Thanks!
It doesn't take long to see that this can be useful for adults trying to organize a project. That seems to be the first thought for a number of people in the Eduwave. Eduwave is a public wave that, as of this morning, already has 557 ideas on it.
When it gets that big, it feels a lot like Twitter. Lots of ideas that come at you very fast. Of course this isn't a very focussed wave. It is a lot of people getting their feet wet with wave (oh, you knew THAT pun was coming, stop groaning!)
To me, that large public wave may present a problem if you were to try it with a classroom of kids and trying to stay on topic. At least where I work (middle school.) Students may have their own agenda or wander off into misconceptions. This could work with kids, but my students would need supervision.
The private wave might be better for teachers and students. Try it as a clever way to turn the traditional worksheet or writing assignment into a more interactive student-teacher experience. Drop in on their wave and ask them "how did you get that answer?" or "have you tried this?"
Some projects may work in both public and private venues. Wouldn't that be interesting. A chance to coach a student a bit in a private wave. Then send them off to the deep end (you knew that pun was coming too) of the discussion in the public forum. This approach would help a student develop his or her ideas and build confidence before going into the discussion.
There are some good possibilities here. Get a wave invite and try it out.

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