This would probably be more fun with friends, but you get the idea.Google might not be your go-to social network just yet, but new features and extensions available for its Hangouts video group chat feature may be a boon for group projects and collaboration.

Hangouts has always been great for group roundtables (like Sean’s with the Chronicle of Higher Education) but now you can use it for screen sharing, Google Docs collaboration, and even group sketching. Imagine, instad of asking all four members of your randomly-assigned class group to trek to the library or coffee shop, everyone can hop on a group video chat, fire up a Google Doc, and hash out ideas from the comfort of their dorm rooms. Though screen sharing and collaborative SketchUp doodling might not be as frequently useful, they’re impressive additions for the young platform. 

If that isn’t exciting enough, it’s probably just the beginning. The newly-released Hangouts API brings with it the promise of future innovation from the developer community, and the recently-added ability to use Hangouts from your iOS or Android device means you can collaborate from anywhere.

Unfortunately, the new features are still rolling out, so in order to see the new extras, you’ll need to use this link.

I admit that I basically stopped using Google after the sheen wore off, but Google is clearly pouring resources into the project and innovating at a breakneck pace, so we’ll definitely be keeping our eye on the network. 

Have you used Google for collaboration with classmates? What might you use instead? Let us know in the comments!