I posted a few days ago about my note taking adventures with Google Docs. The very next day I had an even more interesting experience taking notes, this time with Google Wave.
For those of you who don’t know what Google Wave is, to steal the description from this page by Google, it’s “…an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. 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.” Or in my own words, it’s like taking email, IM, and Google Docs, smashing them together and stirring well.
I can say that it’s really hard to fully understand what Google Wave is without seeing and using it for yourself. Also, I’d always heard you’d never truly understand how useful (and awesome) Google Wave is until you collaborate with someone using it. Well, on Monday I got to finally use Wave for the first time where it shines best, when working in tandem with someone else.
Currently this semester, a friend of mine and I are in a Network Architecture class together. It’s really hard for me to pay attention in that class because the teacher is very hard to follow. I think my friend was having the same problem, so I suggested that we take notes in Google Wave together. On Monday we did just that and it worked ridiculously well.
My teacher uses power point during class and we copied down the slides by working together. One of us would start at the top of the slide; the other would then take the next part of the slide. From there we’d frog hop over each other until we finished what was currently on the screen. We also both added any little notes we thought would be helpful and, when we found the time, organized our quickly typed information. Basically we’d write down much more in a much shorter time and I’d say that the quality was better than if you took the notes by yourself. That gave us more time to listen to the teacher and try to figure out what she was saying (she’s foreign and quiet, if you’ve been there you know what I’m talking about).
The best part was when someone blocked my view. I was in the middle of typing a sentence when someone moved their head and blocked the end of what I was typing. Normally this would be a bad thing, but with Wave it was easy to get around the problem. I just wrote within parentheses, “(can’t read anymore).” My friend saw it and replaced what was in parentheses with the rest of the sentence. That’s teamwork.
Google Wave was made for this and it serves its purpose wondrously. All that’s left to do is get the whole class onto Wave. Now that would be some good notes.