Exciting news from Google.com: They’ve just added 54 new countries to Google Maps and more than doubled their coverage of Latin America and are now mapping three times as many countries in Asia as before. So if you’ve ever wanted to get the flavor of an energetic metropolis like Mexico City or scope out the relaxed vibe of a small island like Aruba, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s the full list of new countries:
Afghanistan, Aruba, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Bermuda, Brunei Darussalam, Bhutan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Timor-Leste, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen
A New website launched this week that allows tutors to teach language online. TalkBean.com allows students to set up an appointment directly with their language instructors. All lessons are performed live, using webcams. As a tutor, you can set your schedule to show times when you are available or show your students when you are online if you choose to go live, making yourself immediately available to teach. If you have any additional lesson material, this can be uploaded to TalkBean from your computer, during the lesson only. There’s also other ways in which students can leave memos for you or notes on your message board.
A recent report shares an apparent few drawbacks to the site: the registration process is rather cumbersome, and you’ll need to sign on as a tutor, which requires a 4-page sign up as well as your Paypal information. There’s also no good system to find other users, students, or tutors, so I’m at a loss as to how students and tutors can best network with each other. Adding a search bar, a ratings system and other checks to ensure that the tutors on the site are reliable and helpful, as well as the ability to upload lesson material independently of live webcam lessons, would bring a lot of value to TalkBean.
Who tutors on TalkBean? Whether you are a university stident looking for a side job, or a professional tutor, you can advertise yourself on the TalkBean marketplace to find the right students for your class. According to the website, you don’t need special training to be a tutor, Just your passion and the Internet.
Live Tutor allows you to instantly create your own space to teach knowledge and experience to ESL students. After registering as a tutor, you post your program for students to find and enroll. All lesson are performed live using a WebCam and HeadSet.
Tutors get paid from a system that automatically secures payments from students to their tutors and, thereby, allows seamless international payments. Students must pay the full lesson fee upfront to TalkBean and once the lesson is complete. Lesson fee is deposited to the tutor’s TalkBean account as cyber money, which can be
withdrawn and sent to tutor’s bank account upon request.
Similar services include Grockit, LessonBites, Tutorom and xLingo.
One of the great things about the Internet today is that some of the tools and services that are available make your life easier and enables communication that would otherwise be expensive or non existent. Basically, there are web services that are readily available that make life easier for you if you live outside of your home country. The following is short list of some of our favorite products that are custom-tailored for expats, assuming you have a Internet connection.
Grandcentral is a service that allows you to manage all of your phones with one number. In other words, if you have a cell phone, a home phone and a work phone you can use a free Grandcentral number to manage how your calls get distributed. Keep in mind that this only for US residents, but read on and we’ll reveal a great hack for you that will get you a free US phone number that anyone can call and you will receive calls directly to your computer. But first, this is what Grandcentral has to say:
GrandCentral doesn’t replace your phones; we just link them together and help them do more. How do we do that? We give people One Number…for LifeTM – a number that’s not tied to a phone or a location – but tied to you.
With GrandCentral, you can be reached with a single number, answer a call at any phone you want, seamlessly switch phones in the middle of a call, and even know whether a call is important before you take it.
Ok, so why would Grandcentral be great for expats? Just this last week Grandcentral added a new feature that will allow you to receive calls directly to your computer via the Gizmo Project. Now, you can sign up for a FREE USA phone number that you can give to anyone and then, anytime someone calls that number, you can receive that call directly to your computer via Gizmo project. I’ve tried it and it works great. This is a must for anyone who has friends and family in the USA. They can now call your local US area code an you will receive that call no matter where you are, and for FREE. Additionally, if you have business with ties to the US, Grandcentral is no brainier. So, go sign up for a Grandcentral and Gizmo account.
Gizmo Project is a Voice Over IP application that allows you to make free calls to anyone on the Gizmo network and gives you inexpensive options for long distance calls to any phone. Additionally, if you’re in the US, you can make free calls to any phone. It’s a great service, especially if you tie it to your Grandcentral account. This is how Gizmo describes their service:
Gizmo Project uses your internet connection (broadband or dial-up) to make calls to other computers. With the click of a mouse, you’re connected to friends, family, and colleagues anywhere on earth. It’s just that simple. You talk clearly. For as long as you want. For free.
And with inexpensive add-ons like Call In and Call Out, you can talk to any telephone“mobile or landline“on the planet. Any phone? Yes.
Skype, undoubtedly most of you have heard of, and probably are using. Just in case you’re not; Skype is another VOIP P2P service like Gizmo it allows you to make FREE calls between other Skype users and gives you inexpensive options for making long distance calls to any phone. Additionally Skype has a great Video feature that enables realtime video calls to any of your friends, family or co-workers that also use Skype. We have been using Skype for sometime now and are very impressed with its features.
DocumentCommand is a great service for those of you who still maintain an address in the states. DocumentCommand is a for-pay service that acts as your mail forwarding service, but with a twist. Every piece of mail that you receive gets scanned and then you login to your DC account to view each piece of mail and then instruct them to either forward the important mail directly to you, or trash the junk mail. The have very reasonably priced options and a state of the art control center to handle all of your mail. To learn more about DocumentCommand, visit their website.
Bubbleshare is hands down our favorite photo sharing website. Their FREE service allows you to upload and share all of your photos with anyone you want. They have some of the most advanced tools including voice annotation. The team here at Yourville hopes to one day have integerated photo sharing as great as Bubbleshare. Here’s an older video that explains a bit about their product.
Gmail is the best FREE email service available. Up until recently, the only way to get a Gmail account was to receive an invite from an existing user. Now, they have opened their service to everyone. You can go here to sign-up for an account. Additionally Gmail will let you POP any other emaill account that you have so that can manage all of your email with one account.
If you know of other web services that would benefit someone that lives outside of their home country, please let us know.