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.
My primary reason for using Skype was to connect my students withÂ students from other countriesÂ in order to raise global awareness:
- there are kids like me somewhere else
- different cultures, holidays, traditions
- time zones
- opposite seasons
- foreign languages
- we live in a flat and increasingly smaller world
I also live- video- conferencedÂ 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.
They were able to catch a glimpse of the mountains surrounding the Urubamba ValleÂ (Sacred Valley) in Peru.
It was a great opportunity to allowÂ 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 topicÂ weâ€™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 weâ€™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 contentÂ 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” watchÂ Brian Crosby’s class on the following powerful video.
Read about other teachers’ experiences and the logistics of setting up Skype.
- Improving out Skype Calls by Sue Wyatt from Technology in Education.
- Quick Start Tips For New Skype Users
starting guide to use Skype in your classroom from Sue Waters
- Skype Tips by Chrissy Hellyer
- 4 Steps to Skyptastic Video Conference by Kim Cofino
- Using Skype in the classroom (or just learning how to use it) by Vicki Davis
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