Google wave

/ 30 May 2009

I’ve been observing, as various digital tools come online, how there are differences in the ways people use them. So, for instance, I love email and use it in all sorts of ways — but a generation of folk like my son Alex, are already interacting far more via facebook and twitter. Alex is perhaps unusual in that he also blogs, and manages his own website using a wiki. But anyway… I digress. The point is that email is actually a very ancient tool, as digital tools go. And now google is experimenting with and beginning to build a whole new metaphor for online communication — a wave. You can read more about it at Eric’s blog, where there’s an embedded video that demos it. I don’t really have a clue about the difficulty of the engineering involved — which, from Alex’s reactions, is clearly very complex — but I love the intuitive nature of what they’re working on, and I can already see how it’s a pretty organic outgrowth of what we’re learning by using services like twitter and facebook.

If google wave catches on, there will be a tsunami effect in online pedagogies -- but the good news is, those of us who care about reflective teaching and who do learning-centered work, will have an environment in which to work that is even more amenable to participation and collaboration!