Name:

Skype

What it is:

Skype is a software program using voice over IP (internet protocol), or VoIP (voice over internet protocol), technology. Skype is free to both download and utilize as it permits users to make high quality audio ‘phone calls’ over the internet.

How to incorporate into classrooms:

Field trips – If students are unable to participate in a field trip, Skype can be used to bring the field trip into the classroom.
Chat to authors via Skype – Students could chat with an author of a book they have been studying.
Using Skype in languages classroom – Skype can help students study foreign languages from native speakers.Guest lecturers – Have guest lecturers come to your classroom via Skype.
Benefits:
Students can learn from others students, connect with other cultures and expand their knowledge in amazing ways.
A classmate can join the classroom from home if they sick or unable to make it in.
Staff can use Skype to access professional development.
Bring busy parents into the classroom to watch presentations via Skype rather than having to leave work to come into the school.
Limitations:
Ensure that connections using Skype to communicate are safe and appropriate. IT department policies – Some school district IT personnel have configured school networks to specifically block the ‘ports’ used for programs like Skype to function.
Remote or rural schools may not have adequate internet connections which would not allow them to utilize Skype.
Useful websites:
www.skype.com
http://www.wtvi.com/TEKS/05_06_articles/skype-in-the-classroom.html
http://www.teachingdegree.org/2009/06/30/50-awesome-ways-to-use-skype-in-the-classroom

Teacher Feedback:


This page is dedicated to the program called 'Skype'. Please feel free to add any information, comments or ideas. Thank you.

My class has loved using Skype a couple of times to chat with their "blogging buddies" in California.

Some students described it as the best day ever at school! From a teacher's perspective, I believe that the amount the students learn from a Skype session outweighs almost any other experience that can be had in the classroom. It is such a rich and authentic learning experience to converse with people on the other side of the world.

I have only Skyped with other classes, however would love to use Skype to "bring an expert" into the classroom.

Click here, here or here to read some posts on the 2KM blog about skyping.

I recently came across a Skype assessment rubric which I found quite interesting. Check it out here.

Kathleen McGeady