What is Skype?

Skype is a software that allows you to speak to, see and instant message other people who have Skype accounts wherever they are in the world. It is an application you download which allows you to make calls and send messages via the internet. Hundreds of millions of people are already using Skype; many people use it to stay in touch with family and friends.

What is Skype in the classroom? Why?

Skype in the classroom is a free community that connects teachers with educators and guest speakers from around the world. It is a website where teachers can find and run Skype lessons for their students. It enables teachers to find classes thousands of miles away, or just around the corner, to collaborate and learn with. Skype in the classroom also helps teachers to connect to guest speakers who can offer their expertise during a Skype lesson with a class. It provides schools with the opportunity to easily professionals and experts into their classroom for a chat.

You can find Skype in the classroom HERE

Who? Skype is appropriate for all grade levels and any age group. Since Skype provides many options and can be altered based on your needs, it can be altered in any ways to meet your learning objectives. Some of the benefits for learners include:

  • Social interaction allows the learner to reflect and reconsider, get help and support, and participate in authentic problem solving.
  • improved learning strategies
  • greater perseverance, and reduced need for help from the instructor
  • Social interaction provides critical opportunities for learners who are learning at a distance
  • The types of social interactions that would normally occur in a face-to-face setting (discussion, sharing, peer review, group activities, etc.) need to occur via online technologies and tools in online learning environments
  • Internet technologies offer opportunities to connect people and objects that are not in the immediate physical environment.  Using Skype in the online classroom improves social interaction and helps to create an authentic peer review environment.

Possible lesson ideas/ Ways to use Skype in the classroom:

  • Videoconferencing in the Classroom–  Utilizing experts, authors, and guest instructors who would never otherwise be able to visit the school.
  • Virtual Field Trips– Using video chatting to bring the field trip into the classroom – for example, visiting a TV production site guided by one of the student´s parents who works there, which includes all students despite budgetary or distance constraints.
  • Foreign Language Learningand Cultural Exchange – Teachers use Skype to connect local students with native speaking students from other countries.
  • After School Help– Tutors and teachers can provide after school help to students needing extra attention via Skype.
  • Student Inclusion – Helping an ill classmate join the classroom from home.
  • Foreign Culture Lessons– Skype allows students to see in real-time what people’s lives, homes, schools, weather, and more look like in other countries.
  • Volunteer to help kids in India learn English– Connect with schools in developing countries for both cultural connections and educational benefits