Google Inc. later this year will unveil Google Wave, a new species of eMail and instant messaging that lets people communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, and videos--and it could have broad implications for how students use and develop collaborative skills.

The company says the free feature is "a new model for communication and collaboration on the web." Google Wave runs in a web browser and combines elements of eMail, instant messaging, wikis, and photo sharing in an attempt to make online communication more dynamic.

"We started out by saying to ourselves, 'What might eMail look like if it...

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