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Catching a (Google) Wave.

WHEN A PREVIEW VERSION OF GOOGLE Wave became available last September, some higher ed users dove right in to try the real-time collaboration tool. Google defines a "wave" as equal parts conversation and document, allowing users to work with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

The University of Illinois at Springfield's Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) is an early adopter. Last semester, students taking "Internet in American Life" built a wave with peers at the Institute of Technology Sligo (Ireland). Ray Schroeder, director of COLRS and a co-teacher of the course, hopes to create a matrix where faculty can post their interest in creating a wave with people at other institutions. Also, UIS faculty and staff used Google Wave as part of a Sloan Consortium online workshop on Web 2.0.

Scott Testa, a professor at Cabrini College (Pa.), has his marketing and business students develop business plans in Wave. A group at Western Technical College (Wis.) is experimenting with how Wave can be used to share marketing practices among 16 technical colleges statewide, according to spokesperson Julie Lemon. At Roanoke College (Va.), David MuIford, director of instructional technology, likes that Wave "blips" keep track of each user interaction. This could be useful in seeing "how students flesh out the concept via individual blips or comments over time," he says.

Pace University (N.Y.) CIO Ganesan Ravishanker, who belongs to an EDUCAUSE wave, isn't sure yet how Wave might be better than more familiar collaborative tools, but adds that it can be a way to centralize them. Fully integrating it with learning management systems will also bring value. "This is where I think a toot like Google Wave can make a difference."

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Author:Herrmann, Michele
Publication:University Business
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2010
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