The most popular technology once used to entertain has been converted for classroom use. iPads have successfully transitioned into the classroom. Educational video games are being developed and used in schools, and now Skype is coming aboard.
The emphasis on Skype’s educational use started a year ago when Tony Bates became CEO. Skype launched its formal educational initiative, and the beta version of the teacher’s network dropped in March with about 4,000 teachers signed up. As of August the numbers had grown to 15,000.
Checkout Skype 5.0 Beta Version
During registration educators submit what they are looking for and are encouraged to use keywords which will help match teachers with relevant connections. Once teachers are linked with others they can find effective methods of teaching and content sharing opportunities. Teachers can share ideas for projects or set up opportunities for students across the country to collaborate on an assignment.
Communication has never been easier than with Skype in the Classroom. With a quick search, teachers are connected with individuals who teach the same subject and grade. Once they are added as contacts, it is simple to chat one on one or form groups.
Students read books and write reports all the time, but imagine an opportunity to chat and discuss the book with the author or to have a book club with students from other states—all through Skype in the Classroom. Opportunities like this bring education to life and are valuable learning experiences for students and teachers.
Large Scale Projects
Skype in the Classroom is an excellent source for project ideas. There is a project tab on the top of the page that takes users to a list of various projects posted by teachers around the world. Users can narrow the results to find a wide range of projects.
Some of the projects posted are collaborative efforts where students from various schools can work together. Other projects are posted as ideas to build on. Along with the list of projects is a tab for questions and comments.
Benefits/Potential uses of Skype in the Classroom
Skype in the Classroom can also be a great resource when students are absent. It is inevitable—students will miss days due to illness and even suspensions. When students miss school, they miss valuable learning opportunities. Using Skype in the Classroom along with other tools like Dropbox can create an online school experience for students and allow them to stay on top of their assignments.
But the implications aren’t only for teachers and students. Parents can benefit from Skype as well. They can communicate with teachers through Skype calls and chats to stay abreast of their child’s performance when face to face meetings aren’t feasible. Communicating with parents and guardians is easier and teachers are also able to expand the boundaries of the classroom.
Skype in the Classroom just makes sense for the classroom. The benefits go far beyond just the student. With the application teachers and improve the classroom experience as well as parent/teacher relationships.
Author Bio:- Jesse Langley lives near Chicago. He divides his time among work, writing and family life. He writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University and has a keen interest in blogging and social media. He is an advocate for a online school.