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25 Tips for Students & Teachers Using Google Wave | The Digital Learning People

25 Tips for Students & Teachers Using Google Wave

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When Google Wave first burst on the scene in 2009, little information was available to learn how to use this tool. Now, tutorials, resources and tips abound, but a reader must wade through the maze of information to find appropriate tools for teachers and students. We’ve done that work for you with this list of twenty-five tips, ideas and resources that may galvanize educational uses for the Wave.

The list below is divided into two categories, and each link within those categories lead to a large article or list of tips for more information. The Web sites and guides category provides resources that offer suggestions, tricks and more that can help with your Wave learning curve.


  1. Google Wave Searches that Rock: Since Google Wave is a Google idea, you can expect great search results from the Wave. For instance you can use “onlyto:me is:unread” to read waves directed to you only and that are unread. Learn about two more Google search tips at Smarterware.
  2. Google Wave Searches that Don’t Rock: With the above said, be aware that a search for Google Wave can lead to malicious Web sites. Information about this hazard is posted at Websense.
  3. Create Private Waves for Various Projects: You can restrict access to “sub” Waves that can carry private conversations. Watch the video for this trick at Lifehacker.
  4. Increased Interactivity: Learn how one educator plans to use Google Wave. Other uses listed here may stir your imagination as well.
  5. Collaborate with Other Students/Educators: Learn more about this process from a collaboration experiment provided by In the Middle of the Curve.
  6. Make Students Smarter? This article from Read Write Web asks whether using the Wave might make students smarter…it seems that collaboration and participation on the Wave might work better for the student than passive reading.
  7. Set Suitable Expectations: Web Worker Daily provides a list of six tips on how to begin a project on Google Wave. Learning how to take control is one aspect as well as learning how to use folders and tags.
  8. Widget-Friendly Environment: Widgets like Spelly, Linki, Searchi, and Rosi combined with the ability to drag and drop contents into online communication streamlines the composition process. Learn more about this concept and more from this article.
  9. Facilitate Group Work: Google Wave can provide a format for group projects for students to learn cooperation and teamwork. This article provides a scenario for this activity.
  10. Provide Live Feedback: Students in learning environments and teachers can provide real-time feedback through Google Wave’s environment.
  11. Use Playback to Catch Up: Students and teachers can use the playback option in Google Wave to catchup on a project or conversation. Other ideas also are included in this linked list.
  12. Use Extensions: These Google extensions allow you to use maps, weather and itineraries to help plan trips and to teach geography, science and math.
  13. Use Shortcuts to Save Time: The learning curve here is small, as many shortcuts are the same here as they are for other tools.
  14. Proofread and Write Papers: This is just one of many ideas offered through this Mashable article. Education as a topic is located at the end of this linked piece.
  15. Build Budding Journalists: Use Wave for school newspaper/newsletter article development or for local publicity article development (public relations). If you’re at a loss for more educational ideas on how to use Wave, visit this article.
  16. Create a Web Site: Budding journalists can do more than write articles on the Wave — they can publish them with the Google Wave WordPress Plugin.
  17. Shorten URLs to Save Space: Just add bitly-bot@appspot.com to your Wave contact list, and it will shorten URLs automatically. Learn a few more tips from this Go2Web20 article, too.
  18. Once on Wave, Always on Wave? Right now you cannot remove non-bots from a Wave once they’ve been added to it. Copy your Wave to a new one and re-invite folks instead. This is a useful tip for student groups that are confined to attendance in one classroom or group.
  19. Wave as a Blank White Board: Still can’t wrap your head around Wave? Read this article to learn more about how the Wave replicates decades-old methods of teaching practices in one package.
  20. Prepare for Destruction: Public (and private) Waves often get destroyed by participants who add busted bots or who change content incorrectly. If you want to make a Wave public (by adding puglic@a.gwave.com to your contacts list in Wave), add the Bouncy bot to your contacts and then add Bouncy to the Wave (bouncy-wave@appspot.com) and reply to it adding the command “bounce:botaddress,” replacing botaddress with the email address of the bot to bounce. Bouncy will oust the unwanted bot from your wave. Learn about this trick and much more from this article.

Web Sites and Guides

  1. Google Wave Tips: This site provides a steady stream of tips on how to use Google Wave. Use the “Labels” menu in the right column to find tips on specific topics.
  2. The Shiny Wave: Tap into this resource for a complete guide to Google Wave along with tips and cheat sheets.
  3. Google Wave: A Complete Guide: If you still can’t get the hang of the Wave, then try this short tutorial by Mashable that shows some functionality within Wave, like using Google Wave to replace Wikis.
  4. Google Wave: Changing the World as You Know It: Use this article to learn more how to apply bots (visuals) and other tips that can help you reach that long-lost epiphany with Google Wave.
  5. Join a Public Wave for Personal Learning: Teachers can tap into Eduwave to learn more about how to use Google Wave. Learn more about this Wave, along with instructions on how to get in.

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