In the later part of the summer in 2012 Google replaced Gmail video chat with Google+ Hangouts. “Unlike the old video chat, which was based on peer-to-peer technology, Hangouts utilize the power of Google’s network to deliver higher reliability and enhanced quality,” explains Gmail team blog post.
At Casper College we have been using Hangouts extensively in recent months trying to determine the best ways to collaborate with this tool. When I excitedly mentioned this experiment at home the other day my 12 year old, Jake, said. I don’t see the big deal, Elijah (his cousin) and I have been using that for years. Of course I was dumbfounded. All of our brilliantly executed experimentation blown out to the water by a twelve year old.
As I quizzed him I did come to the realization that yes he had been using Gmail video since 2008 and maybe more importantly he has been around internet video his whole life (2001) as I have been involved in distance learning and IP based video conference since the late 1990’s when Intel introduced the Team Station.
I asked Jake to jot down a few of his observations, since he is an old school Google video chat user and here are his thoughts:
Dad still thinks video is a big deal, but I consider it an every week use. my cousin and I use Google hangouts and have used it ever since we learned about it. You see, we don’t share screens or anything, we use it to chat and thats all. We do not have a Google+ account, we use our email accounts and do video only and as far as I know you can not share screens using google hangouts on your email, I believe you must have a google+ account for that.
I had not thought about this but when using Google Hangouts for video only you don’t need a Google + account. What you miss out on is the collaborative tools used for sharing screens, Youtube videos and other features.
Being twelve in today’s IT environment would many times be an advantage. All of the capabilities which have been added through the years seem normal. The next best thing…..add a 12 year old to your staff. It would provide invaluable insight