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Google Wave for Language Learning

Google Wave for Language Learning

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Published by avatarlanguages
Google have just presented a preview of their forthcoming Google Wave – a communication tool that combines email, IM and collaborative work-spaces. Effectively it is a mash up of Google Docs, Google Talk and Gmail.
Google have just presented a preview of their forthcoming Google Wave – a communication tool that combines email, IM and collaborative work-spaces. Effectively it is a mash up of Google Docs, Google Talk and Gmail.

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Published by: avatarlanguages on Jun 19, 2009
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07/06/2010

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Google have just presented a preview of their forthcomingGoogle Wave– a communication toolthat combines email, IM and collaborative work-spaces. Effectively it is a mash up of GoogleDocs, Google Talk and Gmail.The above YouTube video is worth watching, even though it is over one hour long. It very nicelysets out both what the tool can do and starts to look at how it will change how we work in thefuture. Of course, there is always the question of whether it will catch on, but given that it is anopen source, there is a good chance that this or something similar will become the norm in theforthcoming years.
What is a wave?
The following is howGoogle sums up Wave
 A wave is equal parts conversation and document 
. People can communicate andwork together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.
 A wave is shared 
. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the contentand add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind thewave to see who said what and when.
 A wave is live
. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can havefaster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time.
Enterprise 2.0 –> Learning 2.0
Google have clearly designed wave with the business team user in mind (rather than theindividual/private internet user as noted byZDNet). And it seems likely that it will enable a flatter (less hierarchical) way of team-work within and between organizations. And so if it is going tochange the way we work, it is likely that it gives us some indication of changes in learningapproaches we can expect with languages. A few initial thoughts below…
 
Real-time collaboration
The collaborative editing of waves is faster and more continuous than currently possible withGoogle Docs. It has very much a document layout (in the same way as Word or email does), andso does not seem to combine the freedom of a whiteboard into the wave work-surface. However,it is as responsive as any online whiteboard and allows editing tools that enable participants(students/teacher) to collaboratively create and edit texts and include multimedia.
Playback
Playback is a video style version of a wiki history. It lets you slide through the history of the waveto see how it has changed over its history. This can even be done for one particular participantand so could be used to see how a certain student has interacted with the document.
Commenting / Editing
Wave makes a distinction between editing a document and commenting on it and so a teacher (or student) can comment on the text. For example, this could allow a teacher to highlight areas for correction and give a hint of what the issue is.
Games and Widgets
There is a games function that has been used to create Sudoku and chess games that you cansee in the demo film above. I can see potential for interactive quizzes and ‘exercises’ with thistool.Opinion Polls seem very easy to create within Wave and so it adds some interactivity for studentsto quiz each other and for teachers to create checks for comprehension.
Spell Check & Automatic Translation
There is an automatic spell check and even an automatic translator for simultaneouslycommunicating with speakers of another language. This raises the question of what skills weneed to teach language learners so that they can draw on these tools to improve their 

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