The next step in communication clearly is Google Wave. Thanks to my former pupil Patrick I got an invite for it; first for a preview and hopefully soon for the real thing. Anyhow, what I see at the preview is very impressive. Basically Google Wave allows you to create a blip in which you can write, collaborate and share in real time. All functions work very intuitive: Wave can be the new base from which you start your communication via blogs, YouTube, Docs or whatever. Above all, it can be the very base from where you can communicate with your student, pupil and/or colleague.
For example: give your students the assignment to create the perfect answering model to some questions in the book you use. When you allow them to work freely, in the end you can actually have the perfect answers (collective intelligence) and thanks to the playback option you can analyse the process with everyone as well: who said what and whose contribution was helpful to others?
Exchanging data will be a lot easier, so imagine an afternoon on which your students are working on some subjects they have chosen to research. Instead of working together on a text document, they start a new wave with each other and you and start working on the paper or the presentation which will be the end result. It will be very easy for them to make a collection of the right material to use. And when further questions rise, they can invite other people, specialists maybe, to wave with them to an answer.
Google Wave looks like a giant leap towards the ultimate communication technology for education. However, as a good teacher, you have to train your students very well to use search engines, to work with sources and to be communicative, modest and polite before and during the waving.
I'm looking forward to hearing from anyone what their experiences are with Google Wave in the classroom. (As well as to what the answer of Microsoft will be to this great invention.)
To be continued!