Which brings me to this thing called Google Voice and Video. Now I have used Windows Messenger before with my web cam back in the day, but it just never seemed to work right. Windows Live messenger was better but.... still lacking. Now, using the video and chat features integrated with Gmail, well, it just works. Period. No huge setup, no drivers to download, no extra "nothing"! (NOTE: you do have to "install Google Voice and Video" but it takes seconds to download and seconds to install).
Once the installation is complete, go to your Gmail settings then click the "Chat" link. In the middle you will see something like the picture below:
Make your selections and then click "Verify your settings" and make sure things are working. Once done you are all set!! You can make video calls to your contacts, then move that into a Google Hangout and invite others!! (A really good article about using Google Hangouts in education can be found be found at this link Using Google Hangouts for Teacher Development)
If that is not enough, you can now make phone calls using Google Voice..... more on that in a future post!
So, do any of you use Google Voice and Video and if so how are you using it?