'Real help from real people in real time' is Helpouts [sic] tag line. It’s essentially an online service where one can find an expert in a given field, and pay by the minute to receive realtime help and guidance from the expert using a web cam.
Google Helpouts takes a great idea already used in education - ad hoc mentoring, apprenticeship, or research - and makes it available to the masses. It takes the concept of a village, where you could walk across the street to ask the baker how much sugar to use, and puts it into a digital world. More proof that the walls between industry and educational institution are dissolving, and even flipping in some cases.
Totally useful for higher ed institutes, where it can fill all types needs, and a good model and stepping stone to help merge industry and institution.
Read the whole story here: Why Google's Helpouts is a Brilliant Idea for Online Education. Although, I argue that this isn't a new idea for education at all; it's just the tools are catching up with the methodology.