|Posted on October 7, 2015 at 8:05 PM|
Skype is renowned for connecting people globally to communicate via video conferencing mainly for personal reasons. However, Skype has launched ‘Skype in the Classroom’ which is aimed at all schools (regardless of Stage) that connects classrooms from all over the world.
Skype in the Classroom enables students and teachers to communicate with others using various functions and tools which are all offered by Skype.
Skype in the Classroom is not solely aimed at students. It also provides teachers with the opportunities to connect with other teachers to participate in professional learning activities. There are regular sessions scheduled that you can sign up for as well as nominate to provide a professional learning session to other educators.
A key resource here is “Mystery Skype”. Here teachers from different schools can connect and allow their students to communicate to each other and slowly build relationships over time. Great for playing initial games as to where they are located around the world to solving real world problems, this tool is recently renowned for a school in USA assisting a school in Africa on how to purify their water using the resources that they have.
Skype in the Classroom has many arrangements with partners that allow guest speakers to participate in calls with your students. They range from TOMS entrepreneurs to Children’s Authors to Expert Speakers from TED. These guests each have a biography on Skype in the Classroom so you can determine which guest speaker is most relevant to your teaching and learning needs. There is also contact information allowing teachers to contact them and negotiate times to meet online and what content you would like them to focus on.
The Children’s authors are able to read the story to your class or for older students, provide them with an insight as to how to write.
Virtual Excursion (Virtual Field Trips)
A key feature of Skype in the Classroom is the connection that they have with vast places of interest all around the world. By using this feature, you are able to take your class to a Museum in Germany providing them the opportunity to learn about its artefacts as though they are actually there. In some instances, a real tour guide will use their device and take it around the place of interest whilst communicating with your students. This is a great way for your students to leave Australia!