The University of Illinois Springfield is one of the first universities in the nation to use Google Wave for online learning and teaching.
Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. According to Google, a wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly-formatted text, photos, videos, maps and more. Google released a preview version of Google Wave on September 30, and a limited number of invitations were sent out to test Wave as both Wave and third-party add-ons are being developed.
UIS’ Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) began to test Google Wave in October.
“We are doing a number of collaborations with other universities. We’re sharing ideas about online learning and identifying ways in which this new technology can be used for online teaching and learning,” noted Ray Schroeder, director of COLRS.
One of these efforts includes a collaboration outside of the classroom between students at UIS in the “Internet in American Life” course taught by Schroeder and Burks Oakley and students in energy studies at the Institute of Technology in Sligo, Ireland. The students are discussing the impact of the Internet on the perception of energy sustainability in Europe and the United States. This activity is voluntary for the students and not for credit in the course.
“This is an opportunity for faculty and students to experiment with the new technology to better understand how it might be used for more formal inter-institutional online exchanges in the spring,” Schroeder said.
Additionally, staff and faculty members from the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at UIS have been conducting workshops for UIS faculty members as well as faculty and staff at Clemson University, the University of Missouri at St. Louis and other faculty and administrators across the country as part of a Sloan Consortium online Web 2.0 workshop. The Sloan Consortium is a national organization dedicated to quality online teaching and is comprised of more than 1,200 institutions and organizations of higher education engaged in online learning.
“This new technology will have an important impact on the future of collaboration in education,” Schroeder said. “It has the potential to enable sharing across campuses and across institutions.”
For more information, contact Schroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217/206-7531.