When you signup for a Google Wave account you’re asked why you want a Wave account. I said that I pretended to see how can it be applied to e-learning, which is my daylight fulltime work (nothing to do at all with my freelance work). So far, its potential could lead to a whole revolution regarding e-learning.
There can be an unlimited numbers of applications given the concurrency of Wave, for example, a geography class could be managed using Maps to give students an exact worldwide location, then add a YouTube video to see something about the country, with a few photos or an album with different thematics, not to mention the interaction of the teacher with the students, or the interaction of students themselves, with the collaboration options that Wave provides. “I think this is like this”, “no, let me correct this here and here” working all in real-time, writing for example a paper in real time.
Furthermore, the college providing the e-learning service could add gadgets or robots with quizzes for the student to solve and through the API, output the result to a database located on any particular server. Since gadgets (or a Wave) can be located (or embedded) on a private server (like Facebook apps) the privacy and security issue can be solved, since you can make a Wave private by adding only particular participants. A teacher could have a personalized robot for each classroom (“classwave” maybe?) to broadcast messages to a particular class (or a robot listing all classes he’s managing).
I’ve just been testing how to embed a Wave in my blog, you can see the result in an image I attached, but in order to see it working you must have a Wave account. I plan to explore more on robots mainly and the interaction with external sites.
Some questions arise here, like, is Wave a social network? most of you will answer yes, but if so, what makes Wave different from a social network like Facebook? instantaneity? concurrency? it’s well known that Facebook is used by some colleges to publish some contents or gather some groups online to broadcast messages. Some other colleges uses Google Apps like Mail for its easy management and low cost solution. However, many more are reluctant to use them, stating that the college info, teachers info, students info will be stored in a secure that it’s out of his hands.
Would Wave make these college change their minds? What would make these colleges switch from their Facebook, a place with full presence online, a place to gather with friends, very familiar to students (and teachers, let’s face it), to Wave, an environment more dedicated to work than college life? will it be possible? time will only tell.