Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Skype In The Classroom

Skype is a valuable tool that many teachers are discovering can break down the walls of their classroom.  I have been doing several workshops lately to get teachers started with Skype and how they can connect their classroom to the outside world. Maybe you haven't had a workshop where you are or you need more information. Here are several resources to get started using Skype in your classroom:

First, what is Skype? In this video they try to explain it to you, visually.

The Skype In Schools Livebinder: This is a great resource form my friend Kelly Hines that has tons of information on getting started with Skype, various projects you can take part in and ideas on how to get connected.

Did you know you can use your document camera as a webcam for Skype calls? Amazing I know! Here is a great post that lays it all out for you and gives some pointers to make it really work well.

Looking for a reason to get started? This post explains why using Skype can transform teaching and learning in your classroom.

Official Skype In Education- Recently the folks over at Skype launched the Skype In Education Project. What they are trying to do is make it easier for educators to connect their classrooms. It is simply a directory. You sign up using your classroom Skype account. Once there you fill out some information like where you are, grades, subjects, etc. You can also add any special projects you are working on. Then Skype matches you up with other classrooms you might be interested in talking to. You can also find neat projects to take part in like a virtual yoga class, debates, reading clubs and more.

I have more Skype resources that you can explore as well.

How are you using Skype? What do you see as the benefits? Drawbacks? How has it changed the way you teach. Leave some comments and ideas below.
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