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It was some fun watching the Saints dismantle the Patriots last night. And now I'm doing the wave. No, not the audience wave — I'm not that big of a sports fan and I do still have my basic sense of human dignity. I'm talking about Google Wave.

Wave

Google describes Wave as "a personal communication and collaboration tool," and at first glance it seems to be highly flexible and powerful. Whether it will also be useful and successful is another question entirely.

It's a little hard for me to describe Wave, mainly because I haven't had much chance to play around with it yet. It's invitation-only at this point, and I only got mine a couple days ago. (Props to Nola Cherié King for hooking me up.) I hope to spend some time poking around at it and exploring its possibilities, seeing what potential it might have. This is just what I do, who I am, plus it's my job. In particular I'm wondering what application Wave might have in higher education.

Anyhow, I've now got a handful of invites (eight, to be specific) which I can pass on to any interested parties, and we can check this thing out together. I'm reserving at least half of them for people who are here at the University. So if you'd like an invite, use the comment form below, and make sure to put your e-mail address in the appropriate field (no one will see it but me) so I can send you the invitation. Google says the invites may be delayed but I got mine pretty much instantly. I'll send invites on a first-come basis, but you have to promise to do the wave with me at least once.

Cross-posted from b.rox

Yesterday I presented a workshop which I called "Global Immediacy: Using Video Telephony to Bring Distant Guests into Your Classroom." It was designed to get faculty thinking about how they might use applications such as Skype in their teaching. I had a little help from George "Loki" Williams of SocialGumbo, we had a good attendance, and I was pretty happy with the outcome.

I was especially happy that I had a chance to work this fine photo into my presentation:

Taxi Face

Taxi Face by NYCArthur / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

After every workshop, I hear from people who wanted to attend but couldn't. Is there a handout they can have? Is there some online content they can look at? I continue to search for the best way to document and share these sessions. I find my slideshows don't stand on their own very well without my voice providing the narrative. However, this time I remembered to make an audio recording, and so I can offer my first slidecast. Enjoy.

Notes: I'm using SlideShare, which allows me to embed the slideshow here, but I don't like the way it automatically loads the audio. In my opinion it should embed like YouTube, with a poster image only, and require a click before loading the entire media. The audio in this case is a large file (probably higher fidelity than it needs to be) so instead I decided just to link. Also, the hands-on portion of the workshop didn't work as well in this context so I cut it out.

Post scriptum: I did give a handout, but that material is online so I'll just provide a couple more links:

Cross-posted to b.rox

There's a story that's been making the rounds lately. I think the Telegraph might have been the first major media venue to give it coverage: Facebook 'enhances intelligence' but Twitter 'diminishes it', claims psychologist.

But what's the science behind the hype? After scrounging though these articles for data (without success) I went to the presumed source, Tracy Alloway's personal website. Unfortunately the only reference there to either Twitter or Facebook seems to be a collection of links, which point to the articles cited above.

At this point I'm beginning to feel like I'm running in circles.