How to use Google Wave in the Classroom

Wave can be really useful in the classroom. Students can use it for collaborative note-taking, sharing assignments with the group and with the teacher, and for group-work/pair-work within or outside of the classroom. Students who've missed the class or would like to learn at their own pace can use playback to replay the discussions.

Here are some tips on using Wave in the classroom:

  • Check the Organizing your Waves section on some Admin tasks that need to be done before the class starts. This will help your students find the class waves easily. 
  • Create a 'Welcome Wave' for the class and include:
    • links to important waves for the class (class outline, how/when assignments will be posted)
    • instructions on the tags students  need to use
  • Have a handout ready for the basic tasks in Wave. For example, in order to take notes, your students need to know how to create a new wave, edit and add their own comments to it. This will help them focus on the task at hand and not get overwhelmed about learning a new tool. You can create these handouts from the PDF version of the Google Wave Tutorial.
  • Use templates to cut down the time spent on creating new waves and to ensure everyone in the class follows the same format. Here are some templates you can share with your class.
  • If there are any study materials or class notes that you don't want students to edit, create a wave, add the class group as a read-only participant and ask them to create new waves to discuss the contents. 

Read Only

  • Private replies can help you have discussions with individual students and still keep all the content in a single wave. You can also use private replies for pair-work/group-work tasks. Here are instructions for creating private replies.
  • You can also create a separate wave for yourself where you note down any comments or suggestions you may want to share with the rest of the class.


Check out this wave for examples of how teachers and students are using Wave in the classroom: