As a college student, you’ve probably participated in a study group before.  Study groups can be a great way to collaborate with your classmates, divide up work on projects, and ultimately do better on exams.  But study groups can also be complicated because it can be hard to work around everyone’s busy schedule and find a common place to get some real work done.  The solution?  Use Google+ Hangouts to video chat with your study buddies.

Google+ Hangouts is a free video chat feature of Google’s social network, G+.  All you need to do is have a free Google account and download the free Google voice and video plugin.  You and up to nine friends can then get together from your mobile device (like a cell phone, tablet computer, whatever) or computer and study via video chat.  It is just like being in the same room with one another except you don’t have to fight fellow students for a study room in a library or waste gas money driving to the nearest Starbucks.

The Google+ Hangouts also offers some pretty cool feature.   One such feature is screensharing – so go ahead and so your study mates that great website you found or the paper you’ve been working on, or anything else you can think of.  Participants can also use the Sketchpad feature to sketch simple drawings and all participants can use it simultaneously.  For those of you who use Google Docs (which, if you aren’t, you should be!), Google Docs is also integrated into G+ features.

For those of you that are tech savvy, Google has released the API for hangouts and thus allowing developers to create apps to be used within Hangout.  Many such apps have already been created and allow for a more fun video chat experience.

What is the difference between using Google+ Hangouts and Skype?  Since Skype uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology, if you have more than two people in a chat, it can cause delays in the conversation.

Do you ever use video chat to study or collaborate on projects with classmates?