Monday, April 25, 2011

Thing 4 - Skype

I really like Skype! Personally, I use it often to Skype dad, who spends part of his retirement in Florida during the winter months and my brothers, who do not live locally. It is a great way for us (My kids love it too!) to stay in touch with them and feel connected. Professionally, I also have been using Skype at my school. All of the teachers have Skype accounts, and we often message each other with questions as well as video Skype between classrooms. Our students think it is the coolest thing!

I had one video conversation with a colleague (to complete this "Thing") discussing the possible uses of Skype in the classroom. Our connection was good with little to no audio/visual issues. We talked about having our partner classes Skype each other to share stories we have written. It would also be great to use if a student who is absent for an extended period of time (due to illness or being on vacation)and has access to Skype to touch base with his/her class during their absence. I would really like to set up a Skype call with an author that my class/es have been studying. I've never really known where to start, but now with some of the resources shared from this course, I want to begin that process sooner rather than later.

Possible problems with skyping in the classroom could be equipment failure or issues during the call or setting up a convenient time with the person or class being skyped with that works for both parties. Students would also have to know the rules to be followed during a Skype call as to not be disruptive.

Skype is one of the Web 2.0 tools that is a must for the classroom!

1 comment:

  1. We're always at the mercy of internet traffic. I could see latency being a real problem during peak times.

    I hope you'll give the Skype with an author website a try. Also think of the proverbial "6 degrees of separation." Who do you know, and who do THEY know that might make a great Skype guest in your classroom?

    It's also important that your students are thoroughly prepared in advance to have an intelligent discussion. They need to prepare questions in advance, and to have the necessary background knowledge to make the conversation beneficial.

    Please let me know when you have an author lined up. I'd love to observe.