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Skype Jobs for Students

To piggy back onto my last post about Alan November’s call to make students contributors to their own learning, I wanted to share the “Skype Jobs” of my students.

There is a sense of excitement in the room, when our students get ready to conduct a Skype call. I almost want to compare it to a “traditional” vision of a newsroom before a deadline. Everyone is buzzing, running here, running there to get ready for their job assignment. Don’t ask why, but I have the memory of a scene in the “Watergate”movie with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in my mind.
Skyping: Assigned Roles

(click on the image for a larger version):

  1. Calendar
    • Responsible for adding Date & Time of planned Skype connection to shard & embedded Google Calendar
  2. Greeter
    • Greets the partner school.
    • Makes initial introduction.Talks about Geographic location.
  3. Share
    • Shares something special about class, school, city, state or country.
    1. Could be song, dance, souvenir, project, sports team, etc.
  4. Q &A
    • Asks specific questions for data collection.
    • Responsible for keeping conversation fluid
  5. Photographer
    • Responsible for documenting connection with still images.
  6. Videographer
    • Responsible for documenting connection with video.
  7. Backchannel Writers
    • Documenting conversation, questions, answers and classroom happenings during the connection on a backchannel chat (Ex. Today’s Meet)
  8. Backchannel Cleanup
    • Responsible to save backchannel chat as a Word Document and cleaning up duplicate comments and mark questionable statements to be verified.
  9. Live Blogger
    • Blogs skype call live to classroom blog
  10. Blogger Word Problem
    • Creates a Math word problem from data, questions and answers collected during skype call
  11. Google Earth
    • Finds location of skype partner and measures distance in miles & kilometers.
  12. Google Map
    • Responsible for adding placemark of Skype partner’s location to embedded Google Map on classroom blog.
  13. Info Station
    • Responsible to search for any data question on the spot.
    • Verifies any questionable information as well.
  14. Data Entry
    • Responsible for adding data collected into embedded google form on classroom blog. Ex. distance miles/km, temperature in F/C.
  15. Elapsed time
    • Responsible for noting time Skype call started and ended as well as calculating elapsed time.

Currently there are "15 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mrs. Yollis says:

    I love the idea of the student jobs! We’ve only Skyped with a few classes so far, and I have basically run everything for my third grade students.

    Today I signed up for your Around the World in 80 Schools project and am looking forward to starting it. Now I’m even more excited because you’ve given me some fantastic ideas about how to let the students take a more active role.

    Love it! Thank you!

    Linda Yollis

    P.S. Thanks for mentioning our classroom blog and the teaching commenting wiki on March 16. I appreciate that! :-)
    .-= Mrs. Yollis´s last blog ..Getting Ready for Earth Day ~ April 22 =-.

  2. [...] big star is an entry from Langwitches. This is a blog written by a former tech master from our school who has amazed us all by her [...]

  3. I really, really like this post. Thanks, Silvia. I assume we all assign student jobs, but you have done a great job of listing and explaining the necessary jobs to make a Skype session more meaningful for all the kids in a class.

  4. greg says:

    This might be the greatest post I’ve read in a while. I love every single role you’ve come up with.

    Do you have a higher resolution version of the graphic available or only what’s on flickr?
    .-= greg´s last blog ..12th Grade Research Paper Resources =-.

  5. [...] just finished an interesting read from Langwitches Blog called “Skype Jobs” for Students. I haven’t used Skype in my classroom, but it’s something I’d like to try. I [...]

  6. [...] suggestions by Silvia Tolisano in her blog post ““Skype Jobs” for Students”on the Langwitches blog, I assigned each child a job like photographer, videographer, introductions, [...]

  7. [...] then becomes something like this once you’ve become more established: This was taken from Silvia Tolisano who uses htis with her students to help them engage more fully in the many conversations they have [...]

  8. Patrick says:


    Thank you for sharing this list. One of Alan’s quotes has stuck with me throughout the last few years: “we must outsource the work we do in the classroom to our students.” There are so many opportunities to do that in our daily practice, and this creation of jobs for skype calls is a prime example of this.
    .-= Patrick´s last blog ..More of This, Please =-.

  9. [...] didn’t repeat themselves, students voluntarily signed up for “Skype roles” as inspired by @langwitches.  A few students greeted Natasha, shared some brief information about our class, and then each [...]

  10. MissCheska says:

    Excellent visual and strategy of involving students in their learning. I really like how involved everyone is, and I would never have thought of some of those roles! Also love how you connect each role with responsibilities that tie in other disciplines and skills. Clearly thought out and detailed!

    I’m curious to know how you started introducing the tools to the students – blogging, backchanneling, etc.

  11. [...] describes how she incorporates Skype into her curriculum. This diagram and her blog post show how each parts of the activity invlove a variety of tasks and mangament scaffolds required of [...]

  12. [...] graders in Jacksonville, FL –> Helsinki, Finland (2:42) “Skype Jobs” for Students – Langwitches Blog 50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom Virtual Author Visits in Your Classroom Around the [...]

  13. [...] Giving Students Skype Jobs by Langwitches Skype an Author Wiki 10 Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom Motivating Adult Learners: Skype an [...]

  14. @MLBertram says:

    @NicholasEndlich I have Skype jobs based off a post from http://t.co/mI7AHcv7. You could also try http://t.co/NMQDl9Fp

  15. [...] Each student works a specific job during calls:Divvy up responsibilities during Skype calls so every student feels engaged with the conversation, not just passive participants watching talks pan out. Assign bloggers, recorders, mappers, and any other tasks relevant to the meeting and project. [...]

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