Reasons for Skyping in the Classroom

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Original image from julianrod

I have been skyping for several years now. Primarily to stay in contact with my family and friends who are scattered around the world. Just this past school year, I have started skyping in the classroom with my students.

I have blogged about our great experiences in connecting Kindergarten, first grade, fifth and sixth grade students with classes from Argentina and Peru via  Skype.

My primary reason for using Skype was to connect my students with  students from other countries  in order to raise global awareness:

  • there are kids like me somewhere else
  • different cultures, holidays, traditions
  • time zones
  • opposite seasons
  • foreign languages
  • tolerance
  • we live in a flat and increasingly smaller world

I also live- video- conferenced  with my students when I was in Costa Rica and Peru on a Global Studies trip. We were able to show them the Volcano live, that we were seeing from our hotel room in Costa Rica.

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They were able to catch a glimpse of the mountains surrounding the Urubamba Valle  (Sacred Valley) in Peru.

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It was a great opportunity to allow  our students to see us on location , to talk to us and ask us questions. It made it real to them…

There are other educators who are thinking about the reasons how and why to Skype with their students.

On the Learning is Messy blog, Brian Crosby has a great post about Making Video Conferencing- More than just a cool tool.

We are usually Skyping to share info about a topic  we’ve been studying or to work on a project so students are engaged in learning activities before the conference that include speaking up, practicing their parts, and editing material beyond just the content we’ve been learning.

He continues explaining that he has them

clarify what they are hearing. Finally when the video-conference is over I often have students write about what they learned or what happened.

In summary, there are different ways WHY you are/could/would/should be using Skype with your class:

  • raise global awareness
  • keep in contact
  • report live from a location
  • receive or share information about content  students have been studying
  • practice public speaking skills (communication skills)
  • get in contact with an expert on the topic you are studying
  • talk to eye witnesses

If you are still not convinced of the potential skype holds beyond a “video phone call” watch  Brian Crosby’s class on the following powerful video.

Read about other teachers’ experiences and the logistics of setting up Skype.

Interested in video conferencing with your class for any of the reasons mentioned above (or your own reasons). Check out and add your contact info to the following list

  • Skype Other Classrooms!
    List of educators around the world, looking for and willing to collaborate with other classrooms!

What are some of the reasons you are or envision using Skype with your students?

9 thoughts on “Reasons for Skyping in the Classroom”

  1. Great post! My 4th grade students love Skype. My dad even taught a reading group one day in class via Skype. It’s a great way to give students a new world view. I’d love to hook up my kids in NC with one of your classes sometime.
    Also, have you seen http://skypeinschools.pbwiki.com ? Dan Froelich put together a great wiki where you can “register” yourself/class as a Skyper! Thanks for highlighting this great educational tool.

  2. You are a machine!! I’m collecting resources for NECC presentation- thank you for this gold mind. Love your new image too.

  3. I’ve used Skype with my elementary level students for a few years now. My kindergarten students have connected with a web designer of a website that they frequent. They gave him valuable feedback about his interactive games. I’ve have often used Skype-to-phone so that my students can speak with my mom who, in the winter months, cannot get out often. The children sing songs to her and share weather updates with her. Both the students and my mom love the interaction. We’ve also phoned Mr. Math–aka, my husband who is math editor. He enjoys challenging the students to a few word problems every so often. The students love the attention!
    We also have short skype chats with teacher friends in the eastern hemisphere who may be working on their computer at home in the early evening during our school day.
    One of the most interesting skype chats we had was with a musician in an orchestra in Dallas. I brought in a group of budding student musicians to listen to her perform and speak with her.
    Skype has great potential for bringing in virtual guests and stretching the walls of the classroom in new directions. I’m excited to see more classrooms who are enjoying the advantages that Skype has to offer.

  4. So many great reasons to be using Skype in the classroom! I love all the links and examples you’ve included as well – I’m going to use this post with teachers here at ISB as we start bringing Skype into more of our classrooms too! Thanks Siliva!

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