Assess: Google+ HangoutsMobile Collaboration OER
Google Hangouts is a collaborative real-time communication platform that allows for both synchronous and asynchronous contact. The two main forms of communication include video and text communication; however, users may use emotion-cons as well. The platform is available on Android phones, and all Apple products and the video and text may be used at the same time.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Individuals are allowed to engage in group conversations even when they are not connected in the forum. In addition, the application works and permits users to share photos, and see when your friends are typing while engaged in a video conversation. You may also scroll back to previous Hangouts to see what your friends are saying. Some of the other pros include starting up video conversations and phone conversations from the computer, as well as the ability to conference call. The platform is interconnected with other Google products, such as Gmail, and as a result can engage in calls while checking your email, etc. If you want to go live from your laptop, you have the option of going live in front of a global audience, record the taping and share the video via YouTube. There are several interesting collaborative aspects to this.
Cons: Some of the cons of the Google Hangouts includes 1) having to invite the user into the conversation. This may pose a problem especially if the user does not want to create a Google account. In addition, once a Google account is created, the user information will spread across the Google channels and be seen by others. 2) Reporting and blocking users. You may report users but you cannot kick users out of the conversation. 3) Limited connectivity and poor video quality on some computers. The platform is still somewhat archaic in that it is slow with video connection, and even if you have a fast computer, it seems to lag depending on time zones and distances of users.
The platform permits multi-use collaboration which includes video and text-messaging. Picture messaging and emoticons are also used.
How You Would Use Google Hangouts
You can use Google Hangouts in different ways but mainly for video conferencing. The Hangouts allow users to congregate in an area, and then set up conference calling in real-time, text-messaging as well asynchronously when needed and joining multiple conference calls when needed with different groups set up.