Even though Google Wave will not be released until later this year, it is already making, well, waves. The forthcoming application combines elements such as e-mail, instant messaging, and wikis and allows collaboration around hosted conversations called waves. Although Google Wave is not strictly an educational application, educators are blogging about it enthusiastically—despite the fact that its release date has not even been announced.
The title of one such blog posting, “The Google Wave Will Change Education Forever,” by Joe Corbett, online community manager for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), is an indication of the potential some see in Google Wave. Corbett is especially excited about Google Wave’s “on the fly” translation feature and the opportunities it makes possible for real-time collaboration. In a subsequent posting he writes, “I think having many users collaborating on the same project/document at the same time in multiple languages across multiple platforms opens the door for some amazing cross-cultural learning.”