Courtesy : Google
There is a lot one hears about collaborative learning. It is not that collaborative learning didn’t happen earlier. It is just that there wasn’t enough technological resources to facilitate learning to the extent that it is feasible today. Thanks to the multitude of social media resources, people learn even without realizing it. The latest to join the bandwagon is “Google Hangout”.
I first came across Google Hangout through Tony Robbins first Google+ Hangout video. The video is inspiring as any of Tony Robbins talks; in addition, you can also take a look at the potential of Google Hangout. What struck me was the array of exciting possibilities for learning and sharing using hangouts. Further research into the ways people were using hangouts resulted in some interesting findings. Here are some of the ways companies and individuals are using Google Hangout for information sharing and collaborative learning:
- Online Training sessions for new hires.
- Peer to Peer learning between team members or colleagues to share work experiences and brainstorm ideas.
- Utilizing the medium for product training/product demos, and troubleshooting videos. In fact a yarn company gives knitting demonstrations using hangout. (+Yarn Mountain). One company helps customer fix their electronic equipment (+FixMyElectronics). Another company offers cooking classes via hangouts (+chefHangout.com).
- Weekly updates to clients on projects.
- Online Team meetings when members are travelling or working across time zones.
- Using it instead of tele-conference calls. One user says that what tele-conference calls is to older generation, hangout is for younger generation!
The most attractive aspect of Hangout is that when compared to other video conferencing tools, it is free. Not just that, you can have simultaneous conversations and video chat with 9 people which is really a great opportunity for team members to interact. Additionally, with Google docs and some great apps you can share each other’s screen as well. I still have to explore that. Have you used Hangouts professionally for informal or collaborative learning? Can it be integrated into your existing learning management system to give it a formal structure within the organization? Do share your experiences and views about its potential.