Monday, September 7, 2009

Google Wave – how will it change the online learning landscape?

That is Google Wave – in a nutshell having read few postings online (since Google Wave is not out yet):

• Has real time components, mainly that you’ll be able to see what the second person is typing character by character
• Openness, ability to embed your blogs, website, twitter and video etc
• Google applications and others – similar to Facebook, you’ll be able to use apps put out by third party developers since Google Wave is Open source.
• Google Wave Wiki
• Playback, apparently you’ll be able to play back any part of Google Wave to trace the progress.
• Drag and drop file sharing
• Social presence - networking and collaboration. Google Wave is said to even have a project management tool.

Now putting Google Wave together with the already impressive collection of Google tools (Calender, Blogger, iGoogle, Google Reader, Groups, Google Docs, Google Talk, Google Map …. you get the picture), where does it leave the ‘primitive’ LMS systems as education and mainly blended learning approach and Personal Learning Environment gathers momentum.

Google Wave will probably change the online learning landscape, as we know it. On every investment, one expects at least some positive return. As far as LMS’s go the students actually get none! All the work they do in a course over the semester is lost as the courses on LMS’s are recycled for use next semester. As far as the notion of ePortfolios go, Google Wave will have a huge impact upon selection of what tool to go with and a positive spin for the students who’ll be able to showcase all of three years work to prospect employees.

Highly networked students ready to tackle anything that is thrown at them. I wish I had an eportfolio when I finished my undergraduate degree. I find myself going through boxes of paper when looking for information (well I have moved on from it now, LOVE Google search and to some extent Youtube).
If learning is social then the networks we build along the way is critical. Nurturing the relationship and learning from each other at the same time should be a life long process. ICT plays a very important role in this process, critically the skills needed and the need to instill it in the learning process is equally important.

Google Wave provides all the tools needed and more for free. Do institutes need to look deeper at what is it they want from delivering courses online?

If a teacher-controlled environment in needed then LMS is the way to go. On the other hand a learner-centred, engaging and truly preparing a students for what the future may throw at them is needed then handing the power to students is important. The power to reflect, critic their won work and at the same time that of the peers, to collaborate and to start a never ending journey that of Life long learning then a platform that is not institutionally controlled, is readily accessible and reliable is needed.

Youtube seek-peek at Google Wave:



Shorter version (10 mins only - highlights)



The revolution begins: EDUPUNK!!!

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