Skype videoconferencing software allows students to meet—virtually—with someone anywhere in the world, in real time, and at no cost. With Skype, the classroom walls open so students can learn from a worldwide audience, connect with other cultures, and expand their knowledge
Skype allows users to communicate with peers by audio, video, and instant messaging over the Internet. Students can learn from other students, connect with other cultures, and expand their knowledge and perspectives. All that is needed is a computer with a high-speed Internet connection, a Webcam, and a headset with a microphone.
Getting Started and Using Skype
- You need an Internet connected computer with a webcam and a headset with a microphone.
Download and install Skype onto your computer.
Follow the tutorial for downloading and using Skype.
Read the following helpful resources
Curricular Uses for Skype
- Field Trips - Bring the field trip to your classroom using Skype.
- Foreign Language Study- Practice foreign languages with native speakers.
- Interviews – Have students conduct interviews or be interviewed. Place students in groups and have them send the Skype feed to the classroom for all to watch.
- Author Visits/ Guest Lecturers - Invite writers or other distinguished guests to your classroom via Skype.
- Cultural Exchange – Learn about another culture or community.
- Inclusion – Help a classmate join the classroom from home.
- Present a Performance - Whether your class performs a play, demonstrates a science experiment, or presents the results of a class project, share their works with other classes, parents, or other interested people.
- Share Field Trips with Others - If your class embarks on a field trip, connect with others to share the experience.
Skype Ideas for Educators
- Professional Development - Access professional development opportunities, such as watching conference presentations via Skype
- Share Students’ Work with Parents – Provide parents a first-hand look at their children’s learning via Skype.
- Receive Teaching Feedback – Invite a mentor teacher to watch you teach via Skype and receive valuable feedback.
Finding Collaborators Using Skype
There are many ways to connect with others using Skype in classrooms.
- ePALS - Sign up for a free account, then find other teachers and classes around the globe using Skype.
- Skype an Author Into Your Library or Classroom - Connect with authors through Skype. Short sessions are free, while longer sessions are subject to a fee set by each author.
- Skype in Schools - List yourself or find others in this directory just for educators seeking Skype collaboration.
- Skype In The Classroom – Collaborate on educational projects with teachers and classes all over the world. Take part in the newest projects, explore all projects or create your own.
- Global SchoolNet - Connect teachers and students around the world. Browse to find something of interest or start your own project.
April 16, 2012