Has Google developed the next wave of online education?

Campus IT officials and computer experts have raised concerns that anyone can add a user to a wave if he or she has the person’s user ID, and people cannot see profile biographies of people on the same wave.

Google’s highest priority should be creating a wave that is less chaotic, some say—an inevitable complaint about an online arena that can let dozens or hundreds of users edit information and type in real time.

“When you have too many people, too many conversations are going on all at once,” said Tom Hausmann, director of IT at Viterbo University in Lacrosse, Wis. “It becomes a bit cluttered when everyone comments on the same thing.”

Dealing with a little online discussion-group clutter might be worth the hassle, Hausmann said, when educators account for the benefits of a free service built with Web 2.0 tools that students use every day on Facebook and other social networking sites.

“Being on a wave by yourself isn’t like surfing, because there’s no value to it,” he said. “It definitely has outstanding potential as a collaboration tool in education.”


Google Wave Blog

Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service

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