Saturday, 10 October 2009

10. Keeping up to date with technology - Google Wave

Google has moved forward with their "new technology" Google Wave, which Wikipedia describes as "a personal communication and collaboration tool" announced by Google at the Google I/O conference on May 27, 2009. It is a web-based service, computing platform, and communications protocol designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and social networking. It has a strong collaborative and real-time focus supported by extensions that can provide, for example, robust spelling/grammar checking, automated translation between 40 languages, and numerous other extensions. Initially released only to developers, a "preview release" of Google Wave has been extended to about 100,000 users on September 30, 2009.

Now to me that sound great but is in fact empty, since how is it different from what we already have (and what relevance is it to dyslexia?!). Sadly Google have never been particularly responsive to those with difficulties accessing the printed word. However, if they would include say speech-to-text, which I can now use with my Blackberry search thanks to Google, then we would see something significant. My feeling is that this could however, become somehow integral to e-learning, providing new ways to collaborate and share. My concern is that it may be impressive and innovative to developers and those who have been teaching for 20 years and need something different. But will it help the learner, or just further disenfranchise the dyslexic learner.

Sadly I can find nobody addressing these issues.

Google Wave

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