Skype is a free downloadable software that lets you do voice and video calls combined with instant messaging for free. The possibilities of Skype to flatten your classroom are endless.
- Interview authors, astronauts and other amazing individuals from around the world.
- Collaborate with classrooms, businesses and more in multi-disciplinary projects.
- Explore a volcano, rainforest, or history museum in virtual fieldtrips with experts in the field or even share your field trip experiences with others.
- Practice conversational foreign languages with native speakers.
- Provide additional support for students needing extra attention or unable to come to class.
- Invite a guest lecturer from leading educators and experts from anywhere in the world.
- Explore foreign cultures first hand with classroom to classroom video conferencing.
- Broadcast a performance or project to parents and families unable to make it to school.
- Access and share professional development opportunities with educators on the go.
- Collaborate with innovative educators to plan units, lessons, and more.
5 Skype Companion Tools
To get the most out of Skype, you should consider utilizing other web 3.0 and social networking sites such as
- Web 2.0 Tools for Class Projects – such as Twiddla in order to brainstorm, collaborate, and share ideas in real time.
- Google Docs – allows participants to share and edit documents.
- Flickr – to share photos and enhance the feeling of learning together across a distance.
- Blogs – to reflect and share learning.
- Twitter - as a backchannel during interviews, lectures, etc and as a way to continue the conversation throughout the school year.
3 Ways to Connect with Others Using Skype
Online Skype Communities
- ePals Global Community offers a free 30 day trial. Sign up to connect with other classrooms using Skype.
- Skype in the Classroom Ning is for teaches interested in using Skype to connect with other teachers for idea sharing and classroom video conferencing.
- The Mixxer is a free educational community for language exchanges via Skype.
- Meet the Author Network connects you with numerous authors willing to enter your library or classroom for 10 – 15 minute skyp sessions for free. You can also set up longer interviews for a fee.
Global Skype Projects
- Global School Network engages classrooms worldwide in meaningful project-based learning exchanges to develop science, math, and literacy skills and foster collaboration, global citizenship, and multicultural understandings.
- Taking it Global is an online community of global educators with the goal of making a difference in the world.
- Around the World with 80 Schools introduced on the Langwitches blog challenges teachers to connect with 80 different schools via skype in order to circle the globe once.
Skype in Education Directories
Connect with other educator’s looking for video conferencing classroom partnerships at these directories. Did I miss one? Please add it in comments. Thanks!
Ready to install and get started with Skype for free? View this Skype techtorial for teachers.
Free Educational Resources by SmartTutor.com