Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ISTE 10: Tuesday Session: Google Wave

Tim Stack and Jared Covili from the Utah Education Network presented on how to use Google Wave as a tool and how to put it into the K-12 classroom.

Education in our generation has been force fed, and then...the info is gone.
59% of students online talk aobut educational projects
50% of students are learning online
They want choice. Today they have 150+ stations
They want control
How can Wave help some of these issues?

They created 2 waves for this presentation, one for the presentation:
And one for the comments and questions like a back channel.

Replies that people make create new "Blips" on the Wave. By Control-Clicking on the second wave in your list, you can have 2 waves open at a time, then by closing the minimize button on the search panel, you can see both Waves side by side.

Issues: when waves are public, the creator can be deleted, and people can change content. In fact about 3/4 of the way through the presentation, someone deleted the resources section of the presentation!

Next we looked at management of the Wave. Stack said that the more you use it, the easier it becomes. It's just different.

Since this is an open source project, there are some apps like aunt-rosie@appspot.com that can be added to allow for things like translation from Spanish to English. You drag the app to be a participant in the wave and then you get a drop down menu when people are editing. In the wave, you add these apps as contacts to your wave.

It's still in it's infancy, so it requires extensions and gadgets to allow for waves to be Public, to embed calendars, and other extensions.

You need Google Gears installed on your browser for dragging and dropping of documents and images in a Wave. Surprisingly, Google Gears is currently not supported in Chrome!

They then showed a wave for the Utah State " Amazing Race" contest and how you can pull in .pdf documents and images. The images appeared in a preview mode similar to Google Buzz.
Any document can be added to a Wave as well.

There is also an extension that brings up a video chat with up to 6 people.

I was excited for this session, as along with many, I had tried wave back in January and was ready to get some tips and to see whether I wanted to train staff to use it this year, since it is now part of our Apps for Education package. At this point, I think I will wait.
The apps and extentions are currently only added at the user level. If you are a member of a wave created by someone who added the bot/app to the wave you can use them. Perhaps teachers could be trained in adding specific extensions and then invite their students to the wave. For sychronous creation it does have intriguing possibilities.

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