Learning how to use Skype in education is just one way to capitalize on the excitement and potential of Internet technology in the classroom. Because the Internet can help teachers and students foster connections with people in the community and around the world, Skype in school has many benefits that can expand the learning that occurs in the classroom. Skype’s many modes of communication — voice, text and video — also provide students with the opportunity to experience learning through different senses, and one of the best features of Skype for teachers is the fact that it’s free to download and use.
Make sure that your school and classroom have working computers with high-speed Internet connections before you plan to use Skype in education. If your classroom does not have a computer with Internet access, reserve a library or computer lab that does have Internet access for any in-class use of Skype in school.
Download Skype onto your computer from the Skype Web site (see Resource 1) and install. If your computer is not already equipped with a Web camera, you will also need to purchase and install a Web camera to use Skype’s video features.
Connect with other classrooms all around the world to use Skype in education about other countries or languages. Find classrooms to connect with using an educational networking site (see Resource 2) where you can set up an account and search for collaborators.
Talk with other classrooms as a group or set up one-on-one exchanges between students in your class and the partner class if the individual students have Skype accounts that they can use at home or after school to collaborate individually.
Use Skype in school to bring in speakers through video chat, including community leaders, athletes, businesspeople, government officials or other professionals who may not have the time or resources to physically come to your classroom.
Invite authors and storytellers to conduct readings of their favorite books over Skype and to answer questions from students related to the material covered in class.
Invite parents to connect with Skype for teachers to share needed information and updates about their children or to observe their children’s presentations and performances in class.
Organize peer mentorships and homework help between older and younger students who have Skype accounts that they can use at home when they need help after school hours.
Encourage students who have Skype accounts to collaborate on group projects using the resources Skype provides to brainstorm, share drafts of assignments and practice debates and presentations.
Support students with special needs using Skype in school. You can use Skype to talk with parents during school hours or after school, allow students to participate in the classroom environment from home through video chat, or allow students who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing to communicate through audio, text or video.
Meet with other teachers using Skype conference features to collaborate on lesson planning, curriculum or professional development.
Education Appointments regularly use Skype to talk to client and managers across the UK.
Please feel free to add us to your connections: EducationAppts