Friday, December 16, 2011

Skype in the Classroom

Skype Resources

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. Here are a few ideas followed by resources you may be interested in!
1.Interview authors, astronauts and other amazing individuals from around the world.
2.Collaborate with classrooms, businesses and more in multi-disciplinary projects.
3.Explore a volcano, rain forest, or history museum in virtual field trips with experts in the field or even share your field trip experiences with others.
4.Practice conversational foreign languages with native speakers.
5.Provide additional support for students needing extra attention or unable to come to class.
6.Invite a guest lecturer from leading educators and experts from anywhere in the world.
7.Explore foreign cultures first hand with classroom to classroom video conferencing.
8.Broadcast a performance or project to parents and families unable to make it to school.
9.Access and share professional development opportunities with educators on the go.
10.Collaborate with innovative educators to plan units, lessons, and more.

1. Using Skype at School for Dummies:

2. Skype in the Classroom. This article offers help on ways to set up Skype, tips for finding other teachers on Skype, technical obstacles, and more.

Here are a few ways to connect with others using Skype in classrooms and to promote education.

1. ePALS. Sign up for a free account here, then find other teachers and classes around the globe using Skype.

2. Skype an Author Into Your Library or Classroom. This site will connect schools with authors through Skype. Short sessions are free, while longer sessions are subject to a fee set by each author.

3. Skype in Schools. List yourself or find others in this directory just for educators seeking Skype collaboration.

4. Skype in the Classroom – The EduSkypers Phonebook. Scroll through these comments to find other teachers from around the world looking to connect through Skype. The most recent are at the very end of the list.

5. Global SchoolNet. This organization works to connect teachers and students around the world through forensic science programs. Browse to find something of interest or start your own project.

6. Around the World with 80 Schools. This teacher is hoping to connect schools around the world through short Skype sessions.

7. Skype in the Classroom. Join this community to find other teachers seeking Skype connections.

8. Mixxer. This group helps connect language learners seeking partners to practice their language skills via Skype.

Teachers and parents can benefit from Skype in the classroom, too.

1. Professional development. Teachers can use Skype to access professional development opportunities, such as watching conference presentations.

2. Share students’ work with parents. Let parents get a first-hand look at what their children are doing with Skype.

3. Conference with parents. Whether a parent has to miss a regular conference or a concern comes up that requires speaking with a parent, Skype can provide an opportunity to connect with a parent that may not otherwise be available for a conference.

4. Innovative teacher uses Skype and Wikis to involve parents. See how this teacher helped share information with parents using Skype and the PBS program, Growing Up Online.

5. Collaborate with other teachers. Who says Skype has to be fun just for the kids? With Skype, teachers can collaborate on ideas, projects, and more.

6. Share travel experiences. If you will be traveling during the school year, arrange for your substitute to connect with you via Skype and you can share the experience with your class.

7. Receive teaching feedback. Have an experienced or mentor teacher watch you teach via Skype and receive valuable feedback.

8. Be available to students. If your school is suddenly closed for a while or if you want to set up conference hours for students, use Skype to allow students to contact you.

9.Bring busy parents into the classroom. A busy parent who has knowledge to share with the classroom may be more likely to be able to make the time for a presentation if she or he can do so with Skype rather than having to leave work and come to the school.

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