Given the fast growing MOOC phenomenon (read our article on MOOCs), Google launched an online video university recently.
Google Helpouts is an online service providing a platform for users to collaborate, share expertise and assist other users by means of live, real-time video streaming.
To use this service, you have to be a member of Google+. You will be able to access Helpouts either through your computer or tablet or by downloading the Android app for your cellphone.
Within seconds you can have a personal instructor at your disposal or when it suits you. No limits on time or location exist – you can have access to expert advice any time of day or night.
Helpout schedules a session when it suits you best and outomatically adds it to your Google calendar. An option to be reminded via sms or e-mail also exists to ensure you don’t forget your session.
Thousands of providers have already joined Helpouts and teach in a wide range of specialist fields. Experts or, as Google refers to them, “providers” can be small, medium or large companies, but also individuals.
Even you can host your popular origami class on Helpouts. Just remember, experts have to be approved by Google and need to list their qualifications, prices and schedules.
Unlike MOOCs, Google’s new service comes at a cost.
Clients pay per minute or session for a live video conversation with an expert who gives Google 20% of his fee as payment. Free sessions are also available for some companies as part of their marketing strategy
Payment is made via Google Wallet, which holds your credit card details, and you can pay per session or per minute. If you’re not satisfied with the service, Helpout will provide you with a full refund – if you request one within 72 hours.
Do you suddenly feel the urge to learn to play guitar? Matt Gibson is waiting for you at Google Helpouts …
[SOURCE: www.iol.co.za en www.wikpedia.org]