Google is helping people help each other with the launch of their new service, Helpouts.
According to the website, Helpouts is a platform that connects you to people with expertise in a variety of topics who are offering their help. By searching you can find assistance with cooking, fashion, school, music, fitness, home repairs, and almost anything else you can think of.
There are also a series of tools available including the ability to share pictures and documents, draw images, and view the screen or take control of one another’s computer. Those offering help can choose how to charge for their services, but many are offering help for free.
Chris Brigolin has a bachelor’s degree in biology and has been assisting others in genetics and molecular biology. According to Brigolin, there is an application process for those looking to offer help, but after an interview with someone from Google to confirm his credentials, he was accepted.
Brigolin said everything has worked well but Google could be doing a better job informing people of the service. “I wish people knew what was going on,” said Brigolin. Early on there were a number of people who seemed to have stumbled upon the site and didn’t know what it was. “I wish that Google would give it more of a push,” he said.
Humber’s math and accounting centres offer online tutoring, but KaraLee Dell, a coordinator for the peer-tutoring program at Humber, said they currently don’t. “It is just a matter of finding the right software,” said Dell. “Our struggle is finding something that would work for all the different kinds of courses that Humber offers.”
Dell said they could look into Google Helpouts as a tool, and with the video chat capabilities it could work.
Dave Robinson, a physics tutor from Brampton, said he agrees, that because of the video features, the Google service could work well for tutoring, and said “it would be a lot easier than driving around.” Robinson said as long as he could access a copy of the textbook, physical or digital, it would definitely be a viable option.