Bryan commented on my recent Android post
and alluded to Google Wave. Wave is a under-development app that pushes what is possible in the browser. It was given a developer preview at Google I/O. There is a video
(80 minutes) of I/O you can view (including a few crashes).Google Wave
is for communication and collaboration on the web. It will launch later this year. It is open source and they will rely on the community to help build the tool.
It is conjecture now, but I can imagine this tool easily being used for synchronous communication in courses. I can also imagine a time, not so far in the future, when we can build our own "learning management system" using free and open tools. Take note Blackboard.
Google defines a wave this way:
A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.
They demonstrated using Orkut with Wave, so I guess Orkut
is still very active though it still has not gained a big user base in the U.S. (I haven't used it in any serious way since 2006.) Of course, Wave also works with an Android phone or iPhone.
Some parts of this app aren't even supported in HTML 5, so it is pushing the walls of the box.
Perhaps, Wave is an answer to the question "What would email look like if it was just being developed today?" Real-time collaboration. Natural language tools
. Wave's concurrency control technology lets all people on a wave edit rich media at the same time.
If you are on the tech side of things, watch their tech video
. Developer types can learn how to put waves in your site and build wave extensions with the Google Wave APIs
. Google Wave uses an open protocol
, so anyone can build their own wave system.
This is all (standard procedure for Google) very "beta" for now, but you can watch the video, sign up for updates and, if you are the tech type, learn more about how to develop with Google Wave.