As I have blogged about many times in the past I love to flatten my classroom walls and collaborate globally with my students.
I have found Skype to be a wonderful tool for collaboration. It is easy, free and has countless uses.
Skyping can bring learning to life!
In my grade two class we have skyped our blogging buddies many times and have also skyped “experts”. There are so many other uses for Skype, and for teachers of languages, I view Skype as a vital tool!
When I have told other educators about the potentials of Skype, they often ask how can they find other classes to skype and collaborate with. In the past, there were various roundabout ways to make connections but now there is a one stop shop called Skype in the Classroom.
On Skype in the Classroom, teachers create a profile about themselves, their class, their location and interests. They can then browse through a directory of international teachers interested in skyping to find someone they’d like to connect with. From there, it is as simple as adding the teacher as a Skype contact and introducing yourself.
Skype in the classroom is in beta, which means it is still being developed and refined.
I was involved in the initial trials of Skype in the Classroom in late 2010. While I found it extremely easy to use and valuable, I signed off as I was receiving more offers to collaborate than I could manage!
If you are new to collaboration or looking for specific types of contacts, Skype in the Classroom may be a useful tool for you. It makes collaboration so easy; the only issue you may face is the isolating time zone here in Australia!
If you don’t know how to set up Skype, check out the Tech Tools for Teachers newsletter we wrote last year.
8 Replies to “Skype in the Classroom”
I was contacted last year by a teacher on the east coast of the US who was keen to skype between classes but the time difference was so unfriendly that we didn’t share any time at school at all. I’ll give Skype in the Classroom a try as I can only imagine the value we will get from it in terms of learning about others around the world.
You’re right, the east coast of the US doesn’t work at all for us. It’s a shame as we are buddies with a couple of classes on that side. We skype with a California class but there is only a 20 minute window of opportunity when we’re both at school for a few months of the year. It changes with day light saving.
With Skype in the Classroom you should be able to find lots of classes around Asia, New Zealand etc that you can skype with. Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by,
I hadn’t seen that Skype in Classroom section of skype so thanks. I have signed up to it, so hopefully something will come of it.
What other avenues of connecting do you think work? How does Around the World in with 80 Schools work?
Thanks for your comment. I’m sure you’ll enjoy Skype in the Classroom.
As for Around the World with 80 Schools, I’ve heard it’s good! Even if you don’t want to sign up, there’s lots of useful info on the site.
I think you’ll find as you start to build up your PLN, create your blog and get to know other bloggers, you won’t find the need as much for these structured collaborative arrangements. I found them a great place to start but now I can create my own collaborative projects, Skype events etc.
Be sure to read WhatEdSaid’s post about global collaboration too.
I have to start by saying, great post as always! Secondly, I love Skype. It’s such an amazing tool to be able to connect with other classrooms as well those in the community. Just on Friday, we were able to Skype with a weatherman from one of the major Boston new channels. It’s an amazing experience for students to be able to make real world connections. I loved it and learned a lot myself! That may actually be my favorite part about chatting with other classes, my students are learning but so am I.
Thanks so much for your continued support!
I love Skype too! I love the idea of skyping with the weatherman. What fun! I have found in the past that you just have to ask, people might say yes!
I agree with you – that is my favourite part of global collaboration, it is fun to learn with the students!
This is such a wonderful tool to make it easier to connect with other classrooms around the world. So glad someone thought of it!
[…] Also have a look at Kathleen Morris’ post on Skyping in the classroom […]