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.