Wave of the Future?

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Actually, forget the question mark. If you haven’t yet picked up on Google’s latest innovation, Google Wave, you’re missing out on what I believe is a truly ground-breaking moment. Communicating will never be the same again, and, for once, the internet frenzy is probably justified.

It’s really hard to describe what Wave can do, partly because it’s going to be the release of the protocol to open-source developers which makes it so unpredictable. But imagine all your work and social functions (emailing, sharing and editing files, fixing meetings, video conferencing, and lots more) brought together in one place, where real time communications happens, regardless of language barriers (check out the Rosy translation robot) in a multi-user format, then you’ve got a tiny glimpse of what Wave will be about. But you have to view it through the iPhone Apps lens too, since the connectivity, and simplicity of that technology, is being brought into Wave. What we’ve seen is impressive enough, but once crowdsourcing and collaboration kicks in, the results will be amazing.

Last night, Google issued 100,000 invitations to people to preview Wave, and they were gone in minutes. People are selling them on Ebay, but it will spread virally, so you should be able to get your hands on it soon enough.

But the really mind-blowing thing is when you start to think how educators could use this stuff. Imagine a student in Sheffield being paired with a student in Bangladesh. They can complete their joint homework assignment, and not have to worry about spelling corrections (sorry, traditionalists, Wave fixes your spelling as you go), language barriers, or speed of communication. They can video conference each other, bring in experts into their collaboration, and publish through any number of social networking formats – all at no cost, and in real time.

If you wanted to know what web 3.0 is going to look like, and education 3.0,  this is it.

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