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Skype in the classroom
posted by: Melissa | September 26, 2012, 05:55 PM   

Have you experimented with Skype in the classroom?  This new educational trend is surprisingly flexible, immediately engages students, and is probably easier than you think.  With the ever-increasing role of technology in the classroom, more and more classes are experimenting with and embracing Skype.


For those of you who may not have yet heard of Skype, it’s a software program that allows users to videochat with other users around the world at a very low cost.  Many people have been using it at home for years, and now it’s becoming more popular in the classroom as an easy way to connect to students in different countries or to have them speak with experts.


Although videoconferencing has been around for years, for many teachers it may conjure images of uncertain connections, costly bills, and unfathomable technology.  Skype banishes those barriers and makes videoconferencing something that is easily accessible for anyone with a computer or a laptop.

Most laptops include webcams and microphones for personal users of Skype. For classroom use, you’ll most likely wish to buy an external set.  Webcams and microphones are attached easily to the computer via USB cables, allowing you to position them where they are most convenient for the class.

Looking for ideas in using Skype? Skype in the Classroom lists countless ideas, resources, and even events that your students can participate in, making it easy to connect with experts in a variety of subjects.

Of course, you don’t need to rely on Skype’s website for ideas.  If you already know an expert in the field you’re teaching, start there. Or you can speak with your students’ family members and see if any of them know someone who might want to speak with your class.  Edudemic also just recently published a list of ways to use Skype in the classroom, which is full of unique ideas that can be incorporated into your curriculum.

Have you tried Skype in your class?  How did it go?  We’d love to hear any tips you may have had.

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