Friday, August 6, 2010

Google Wave, embraced by many on campuses, to get wiped out

Google Wave may have had more fans on campuses than it did anywhere else, but those academic enthusiasts weren't enough to keep the free service afloat. Google announced yesterday that it will stop development of Wave, its experimental next-generation e-mail system that blended instant messaging, video chat, document sharing, and other tools in one platform.

Several college professors had been trying out Google Wave with their courses, and some saw it as a possible replacement for learning-management systems like Blackboard. At first the service was only open to those who snagged an invitation from an existing user, and last year at the annual conference of Educause, professors stood in line at a packed Google presentation to get their free invites. Google only officially opened the service to all comers in May.

"The Wave announcement is disappointing to those of us who use it daily in our classes and other collaborations," said Raymond Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service at the University of Illinois at Springfield, in an e-mail interview today. "It crossed institutional boundaries unlike the LMS," he said, referring to learning-management systems. Mr. Schroeder had used Wave in a course, and he has presented it on its use at several conferences.

"The potential uses in higher education were many," he added. "The potential uses in commerce and marketing were not clear. So, the business case was never effectively made."

Schroeder's comments were featured in a August 5, 2010, blog by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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