Google Wave Keyboard Shortcuts And Basic Terminology

I’ve been enjoying the BETA of Google Wave for about two days now -it really is a great program with a tremendous amount of potential for usein the educational arena.  As part of my own education with regard to using the Google Wave applicaiton, I’ve found a number of useful shortcuts that Google has incorporated into the Google Wave Application.  Many of these shortcuts only make sense after you have formed an understanding and basic working knowledge of the Google Wave program itself.  This post is a brief synopsis of my Google Wave experience so far and hopefully will help others begin to learn and navigate this new technology better and more easily…

Basic Google Wave Background:

Google Wave is a program that allows real-time collaboration and communication in an extremely flexible and fluid environment.   In a sense, Google Wave is like a real-time Wiki program where others can edit things already posted and create new items and links through embedding and external applications.  Unlike some other similar programs, you can actually read what everyone is typing in the “Wave” in real-time and Goolge Wave is both cross-platform and open source.   The real power of Google Wave for educators (or others) may very well come with its ability for each “Wave” to be embedded in other Web sites, blogs, and Internet programs.

In one of my experiences with Google Wave I was able to be a part of a shared “Wave” with over 100 people using it at simultaneously.  While this was quite chaotic, it did work and did not crash either.  This was a first-of-this-kind of experience for me with regard to the number of people accessing this type of program at the same time…very interesting indeed.

Basic Terminology (as far as I can figure out so far):

Wave: An entire log or conversation that is created using Google Wave.  A Wave encompasses all of the conversations within the initial topic and is threaded.
Wavelet: A sub conversation within a Wave.  There can be many Wavelets within a Wave and are threaded as well.
Blips: Are conversations within a Wavelet and are threaded also.
Extensions -Gadgets and Robots: A gadget is an application such as a Google map or any of the “iGoogle” gadgets that are available that can be executed inside of a Wave: A Robot is an automated “helper” that will automated tasks for you such as changing words (swear words for example) to other words or automatically linking text such as @pisanojm to @pisanojm.

Example (click image to enlarge):

*Google Wave Example -Click to ENLARGE

*Google Wave Example -Click to ENLARGE

Google Wave Keyboard Shortcuts:

Google Wave lists a number of shortcuts within their help file and below are some of the useful-to-memorize ones:

  1. HOME key -Takes you to the first message of the Wave
  2. END key -Takes you to the last message of the Wave
  3. SPACE key -Allows you to cycle down through UNREAD messages ~VERY USEFUL!
  4. CTRL + SPACE -Marks all messages as “READ” within a WAVE, WAVELET, or Blip that you have currently selected
  5. CTRL + E -Edit a message ~VERY USEFUL!
  6. SHIFT + ENTER -Reply to a message and/or finish (DONE) a message that you’ve typed ~VERY USEFUL!
  7. Standard text short cuts apply:
    1. CTRL + B -Bold
    2. CTRL + I -Italic
    3. CTRL + K -Add a link
    4. CTRL + C -Copies text
    5. CTRL + X -Cuts text
    6. CTRL + V -Pasts text

Here is the link to the Official Google Keyboard Shortcut Help File.

I will be posting more of my experiences with Google Wave as I have time in the near future.  Please Re-Tweet/Re-Post this so others can find this useful information.


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Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, a lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Director of Bands in the Calderwood School of Arts at Grove City College in PA. He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award and the PA Citation of Excellence. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators and the current Vice-President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He also writes for DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and is the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website