It has been a while since I posted about Skype, however moving schools has meant that I have introduced Skype to another set of pupils, and indeed another set of teachers as I am always amazed that teachers haven't tried any kind of video linking with their pupils.
Firstly let me remind you of the fantastic resource that is EducateSkype or Skype in the Classroom now. A health warning here as this is becoming increasingly linked with Microsoft's infrastructure, however if you keep a school skype account separate from a home one you should be fine.
The Skype in the Classroom site will allow you to connect with pre planned lessons, video and all sorts of content. Everytime I have gone there I have found something I am looking for – it really is amazing. However skype does not have to be so 'organised'.
In a nutshell:
- It's cheap (or free) – just equipment is needed!
- It literally brings the world to your classroom!
- It's easy to find contacts…
- The children remember the experience…
The hashtag 'mysteryskype' has really taken off – you can find schools on the website mentioned above, or search on twitter. Connecting with schools from across the globe where the children try to guess where they are never gets dull. My pupils always love it. Admittedly they can sometimes guess pretty quickly, but pinning down to city rather than country, or county in the UK will keep them busy!
I am currently collecting email addresses from those keen to skype with digital leaders – please let me know in the comments if you would like to be involved. It's brilliant. The children already have something in common, and can begin with shared questions about they do and how they do it.
This is going to be my next project – school council's chatting to one another. Our school council is very new, but think it will work wonders if they chat to a more established one!
Connecting with those who speak the language you are learning has obvious benefits! Skype can also offer three-way calling, which means you can get partner schools involved!
Particularly useful for schools 'off the beaten track' – chatting to those who are in specific careers is much easier via Skype – and is less hassle for those giving the talk…
Have you had any brilliant experiences with Skype you could share?