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   Skype is a video calling and instant messaging service that is free.

Skype in Classroom

Teachingdegree.org has 50 ways to use Skype in the classroom. Here they are: http://www.teachingdegree.org/2009/06/30/50-awesome-ways-to-use-skype-in-the-classroom/ 
  •     Interviews
  •     Guest Lectures
  •     Field Trips
  •     Parent Conferences
  •     Collaborate with other schools in district and out of country
These are just a few suggestions teachingdegree.org provides.
Skype has an Educational Site with projects and resources for teachers. It also has a teacher community with over 19,000 teachers. http://education.skype.com/ 
Petter Pappas has an easy article that helps teachers connect classrooms with Skype. - http://www.peterpappas.com/2011/08/connecting-classrooms-with-skype.html
My Skype Name: teachersrule
        Leave me messages or ask for help.
Skype in Science - Check this out 
Skype and NASA Team up - Click Here

Skype in the Classroom Adds New Partners and Resources for Teachers - CLICK HERE  10/3/12

Skype session with Penn State Students - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dwh5md5Z9U

The Complete Guide to Using Skype in Education - CLICK HERE

Taking Students Where No School Bus Can Go

Skype connects Virginia elementary students live with research scientists around the world.

  • By Bridget McCrea
  • 09/06/12

You don't often find a group of 75 fifth graders from a public school in Virginia interacting directly with scientists based at Palmer Station, Antarctica, but that's exactly what takes place every year at Herman L. Horn Elementary in Vinton, VA. Using Skype as a videoconferencing platform--and working together with her school's instruction technology coordinator, Holly Ireland--social studies teacher Amanda Lusk has orchestrated two of these events from the convenience of her own classroom.

Lusk weaves the interactive sessions into her global studies module, which includes instruction about the world's seven continents. "With Antarctica being such a scientifically-oriented continent I thought it would be great to put my students in touch with the people working there," said Lusk, who got the idea to reach out to Alexandra Isern, Antarctic earth sciences program director, from one of her own students.

"He said, 'Hey, my mom knows a scientist,'" recalled Lusk, "so we were able to get in touch with Dr. Isern via e-mail--through that parent contact--and get our first online field trip set up." At the time, Isern was in the Antarctic working on several research projects. Amenable to the idea, Isern worked with Lusk to set up a 45-minute session using a laptop computer, webcam, and Skype's communication software.

Lusk, who had never conducted a videoconferencing session before, turned to Ireland for help. Using her own personal MacBook computer, Ireland set up the software on her laptop and established a link to the interactive Promethean board that was already in Lusk's classroom. The school's Internet connection served as a conduit for the interactive session.

"The first time we did this [in 2011] we lost the connection once," said Lusk. "This year the connection was uninterrupted."

During the call students got a live view of the research station's interior and its surroundings; listened to a presentation; and asked individual questions of the scientist.

"She took her laptop outside and showed students what Antarctica really looks like and what was happening outside," said Lusk. "They saw a pretty harsh, raw environment that was very different from where they live."

Amanda Lusk's Online Videoconferencing Tips

1. Ask the speaker to show his or her external environment (if applicable).

2. Have students come up with questions for the speaker in advance.

3. Network with students, parents, and other teachers to come up with good speaker candidates.

4. If your classroom isn't big enough to accommodate a large group, move the session into a computer lab.

5. Work with your school's IT coordinator to set up the connection and the call.

Questions ranged from "What kind of research do you do on a daily basis?" to "What do you eat for dinner and how do you get fresh food?" Student also wanted to know what the scientist did in her downtime, when she wasn't working or doing research. Other topics discussed included the materials that the research stations were made of, the use of solar power in Antarctica, and what it's like to live for extended periods of time in the frozen tundra.

"It's a great way to expose students to new environments, experiences, and career choices they may not have considered," said Lusk.

In fact, she said Isen's parting words when wrapping up the last Skype session were, "Come on kids, get your education so you can come down here and join us!"

With two online sessions under her belt and a third in the works, Lusk said one of the biggest technical issues she's had to manage is the fact that multiple speakers talking at once can be difficult to understand. For example, the most recent session involved three scientists--a fact that added a layer of complexity to the event. "When more than one person was talking and chiming in with answers to student questions," said Lusk, "it was difficult to discern who was saying what."

Lusk hasn't found a solution to that challenge yet, but said the small glitch didn't take away from the event's educational value. During a time when teachers are striving to get more students involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects, Lusk said making direct connections with real-life scientists is invaluable. The fact that the online events are free to set up and orchestrate makes them especially attractive for budget-conscious K-12 schools.

"This is a way to take students where no school bus can take them and to give them experiences that will last a lifetime," said Lusk. "And who knows? Maybe it will inspire some of them to become scientists someday." - http://thejournal.com/articles/2012/09/06/taking-students-where-no-school-bus-can-go.aspx


  1. It is free, easy to set up, and requires little training to use.
  2. Users have quite a bit of anonymity therefore not exposing the user too much on the internet.
  3. Skype offers a tutorial for students which teachers can use as well.
  4. Great way to communicate with family, friends and make new acquaintances for free.
  5. Works with PCs and Macs.
  6. You can see, hear, and type to the individual you wish to speak too all at the same time.
  7. Several students can get on each side of the connection at a time to communicate with each other.
  8. The conversation is in real-time as opposed to waiting for responses from email.
  9. The voice and picture are very clear.


  1. You must locate your own contacts for calling and conferencing.
  2. Make sure students use privacy for contacts so personal information is not displayed for all to see.
  3. Rather particular requirements of bandwidth/hardware.
  4. A camera must be available to speak/be seen
  5. Calls/video feeds are frequently dropped, which interrupts conversations.
  6. Requires students to have a computer with internet.
  7. If users choose not to put personal information in, you can't tell if the person you're selecting for a contact is the person you want. This is especially a problem if the person has a common name.
  8. You have to coordinate being on the computer at the same time as the person you want to see/talk with.
  9. School systems may block Skype (ours does!).


  1. Conference with subject matter experts, guest speakers, or other classes around the world.
  2. Foreign language students can utilize this great site.
  3. Help students practice foreign language (or second language) with other students who are natural speakers
  4. Can be used to connect with students who may be absent or may have moved
  5. Students who may be on vacation/ somewhere none of the students have been before can talk about it from there
  6. Connect with parents or family members who may live in different areas of be unable to attend conferences
  7. Students in the same school working on a physical project can communicate from class to class.
  8. The computer can be hooked-up to a classroom projector so everyone can see the video while students are talking.


  1. You never know what students in another classroom might say online.
  2. Make sure students do not abuse it by making unnecessary calls that would be charged.LL
  3. You would have to closely monitor any contact going on with your students at all times for obscene behavior or gestures, and be prepared to explain to parents what happened and why.


  • Darfur project - Students in third grade class wrote press releases about Darfur. They Skyped with 7th and 8th grade classes, read their press releases, and held a question/answer session to talk more about Darfur.
  • Live talks with authors and book discussions with students around the world.
  • Talk to meteorologists about weather concepts
  • Live talks with students in California about earthquake experiences.
  • Can be used as a global/multicultural project (addition to many ways in Geography class) where students can interact with peers their own age in another country and then can use literacy skills to communicate and build a cumulative project upon
  • Talk to or video conference with experts in any content area such as university professors to relate "real life" experiences with students to further their understanding of a content related concept.
  • Can be use to include students with disabilities that may be absent due to medical treatment.
  • FLAT STANLEY -to communicate with friends, relatives, students, military from Around the World, wherever you send Stanley to visit
  • Students can do live book talks/book recommendations for other students.
  • Can be combined with a pen-pal project. Students can write to other students with questions and a time to get on Skype to listen to the answers.
 These partners do Skype calls for schools.
 Is a Skype Partner!


Examples of Uses in the Classroom

http://portal.sliderocket.com/BUFFA/Skype-in-the-Classroom-21st-Century-Engagement- Skype Presentation with a Twitter Tip

*Watch this video to see how a fourth grade class uses Skype to include a student with Leukemia into the classroom

 Tutorials for Skype in Education

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

The Complete Guide to The Use of Skype in Education

guides,skype in educationMed kharbach

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has been diligently engaged over the last couple of weeks in writing a series of simple and easy to use guides to help teachers and educators better leverage the use of technology in education and empower them with the necessary tools to better carry out this task. What started as a simple guide on the use of social networking, expanded to be a series of similar guides covering blogging, personal learning networks, Evenote, Facebook and iPad in education. Our purpose is to give hand to both novice and experienced teachers in integrating technology within their classrooms. We are still working on several other guides which will be posted here intermittently and there will be a comprehesive ebook that will contain all these guides, so stay tuned.

skype in education

Today's guide is about Skype and here is the outline :
  • What is Skype ?
  • Some features of Skype
  • What do I need to use Skype ?
  • Skype Importance in education
  • Skype tips for teachers
  • How teachers can use Skype in their classroom
  • Successful stories of teachers who have tried Skype with their students

What is Skype ?
Skype is a free communication software that allows users to make calls, send instant messages and do video conferencing online. It is one of the best voice -over-internet services online and was created in 2003 hy Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis but later on was owned by Microsoft particularly in the year 2011. Skype has over 663 million registered users as of September 2011, putting it at the top ranks with Facebook and Twitter.

Some Features of Skype
Here is a set of some of the most imoprtant features that make Skype a powerful communication tool online :

  • Skype is easy to use and has a user friendly interface
  • It allows users to make a free Skype to Skype calls
  • Users can even call a real phone number from Skype with cheap rates.
  • It also enables people to call their Skype account from a phone, for this you need a SkypeIn number to give them. Receiving calls from phones is free but will charge the caller the same rate as if they were calling a real phone.
  • Users can make video calls for free allowing them thus to see each other in real time
  • Skype allows you and 24 other people to make a conference call making it easy for group discussions from all around the globe
  • You can easily send files via Skype to any of your contacts. There is no size limit for the file and for security reasons before the file transfer can begin, the recipient has to approve the transfer meaning that the person has to be online for the transfer to take place.
  • Skype allows for instant messaging which can take place even while you are doing a voice call
  • Users can also send text messages to any phone number in the world. The rates are way cheaper than what a text message usually costs.
  • Skype lets you set up a voicemail where others can leave you voice messages when you are away, you need to pay 3$ per month or 20$ for a year for this service.
  • It also offers a searchable directory of Skype users, as well as an alerts feature.

What do I need to use Skype
To use Skype you need to :
  • First, download the Skype software into your computer from their homepage. It is very lightweighted and takes only a couple of minutes.Create an account on Skype.
  • The process is similar to registering on any other web tool.
  • You need a headset with a microphone.
  • Check out the video tutorial below to see how you can make a call in Skype

Skype's Importance in Education
Here are some ideas featuring the growing importance of Skype as an education tool :

  • Skype as an easy and inexpensive way of communication between people all over the world, open the door to a wide range of activities that can improve student engagement and comprehension
  • Interacting with people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds help students understand cutural differences and learn about history and social norms
  • Skype is great for students learning a new language. It can connect them to native speakers everywhere in the world and let them fine-tune their foreign language skills
  • Learning becomes more authentic, inspirational, and engaging when it transcends the walls of the classroom
  • Skype offers an easy way for students and instructors to engage in in synchronous communication.

skype in education

Skype Tips for Teachers
Here are some tips that teachers need to keep in mind when using Skype:

  • Download Skype ahead of time and try it to see if it is working
  • Check your privacy setting and be careful what you active or deactivate
  • When using Skype with students make sure that you inform their parents and take permission from them
  • Only allows students supervised access to Skpype
  • Try Skype's built-in recording option to rebroadcast your conversation later
  • Always make sure students prepare ahead of time for any Skype session, they can for instance prepare test questions...ect
skype in education

How Teachers can use Skype in the classroom
Here is a list of some suggested ideas to start with :

  • Teachers can use video conferencing to hold teaching sessions with their students while being away from the classroom
  • Teachers can have guest speakers talk directly with students using video conferencing, these speakers can be for instance, authors, producers, or other teachers or even students.
  • Skype can be used in a language classroom to help students improve their linguistic skills via speaking to native speakers of the target language
  • Use Skype as a tool to provide after school help to students needing extra attention
  • Use Skype for interview purposes, for instance, individual students can interview other teachers or school staff, sending the Skype feed to the classroom for all to watch.
  • Skype can be used to help students with disabilities, special needs or who are absent to catch up with the class from home
  • Teachers can connect their classes via Skype with other classes on the other side of the world
  • Students can use Skype to do peer teaching and also to forge lasting and solid friendships with each other be it locally or internationally
  • Students can use it to collaborate on classroom projects and assignments by making free video calls and even video conferencing
  • If you take your class on a field trip then Skype will make you able to connect with parents or other classes to share your class experience with them
  • Teachers can use Skype for professional development mainly by connecting to other educators and watching and sharing conference presentations
  • Teachers can use it to share students classroom work with their parents
  • In case of issues with a student , teachers can use Skype to hold a video conference session with a parent who, because of circumstance, could not attend physically to the school
  • Teachers can use Skype to collaborate with each other . They can , for instance, do peer tutoring by having an experience teacher or mentor teacher watch one teaching via Skype and then give valuable feedback to him/her

Successful stories of teachers who have tried Skype in their classes
skype in education
Let me share with you some of successful stories of teachers who have taught using Skype.You will learn how they did it and what they benefited from the use of this tool in their teaching.

1- Working on a history project using Skype
This is a story of 7th grade students who have used Skype as a part of their history project that resulted in their collaboration with the curator of the National Museum in Canada.

2- Using Skype to help a classmate join classroom from home
Read this post to learn how a 4th grade class used Skype to help a classmate with leukemia become a part of the classroom from her home.

3- Connecting two classes using Skype
learn how this teacher brought two classes, who had been tweeting all semester, to finally get together and meet face-to-face via Skype.

4- Using Skype in classroom language
Find out how this teacher used Skype to help her students learn a foreign language from native speakers of that language.


Bringing the (Virtual) World to AP Lit

A Georgia high school teacher is giving her AP Lit students a taste of the "real world" virtually. She's using Skype to create modern-day field trips to help them make connections between classroom learning and the outside world while also meeting curriculum requirements.

  • By Bridget McCrea
  • 07/11/12

There was a time when public school teachers were encouraged to take their students on field trips to experience the outside world during school hours. Museums, historical sites, and concert halls were just a few of the venues that helped teachers make connections between instruction and "real world" activities.

Budget cuts, time constraints, and liability issues have taken a toll on traditional field trips, but that hasn't stopped Shekema Silveri from using technology to expose her junior and senior AP Literature students to the world that lies beyond their textbooks.

Web Conferencing Technology
For the last year Silveri, chair of the English department at Mt. Zion High School in Jonesboro, GA, has been using Skype to connect outside speakers and instructors with her students in the classroom. For example, she recently used the Web-based videoconferencing software to help pupils meet her course's service learning requirement. Silveri connected with representatives from the Homeless World Cup Foundation, which supports a network of 73 international partner organizations that use soccer as a catalyst for improving the lives of homeless people, via the Web.

Silveri arranged a 55-minute video call with Deborah Ball, the organization's international partnerships manager, and Zakia Moulaoui, its schools and fundraising manager. Using a classroom computer, projection screen, webcam, and speakers, Silveri and her class got an inside view on how teaching soccer and management skills motivates homeless individuals to make changes in their lives.

Silveri initially used Skype as an affordable, in-house professional development option for Mt. Zion High School's English department and other teachers. "I saw it as a way to open up new opportunities and provide professional development – through either live or recorded conferences," said Silveri, "to teachers that didn't have the time, money, or resources to manage it individually."

Then Silveri realized that Skype could serve as a conduit between classroom instruction and real-life examples, speakers, and applications. Students are blocked from using Skype on school computers, but Silveri is not. She downloaded the software to a flash drive and then uploaded it to her own computer. "My school doesn't mind that I use Skype," she said, "but it also doesn't provide any support for the technology."

Exposing Students to the Real World Virtually
Silveri actively seeks out speakers who can discuss topics that are related to her class curriculum. She invites them to address her AP literature students in either 55-minute or 120-minute sessions. Students take notes during the conferences and then submit related classwork and/or homework assignments.

Being able to bring speakers into the classroom has helped Silveri reach beyond her Title I school's budgetary limits and access individuals whom her students wouldn't otherwise have contact with. In addition to the Homeless World Cup representatives, for example, college professors, research experts, and published authors have also connected with her students through the Web conferencing tool.

"It's critical that my students have exposure to people and topics that will help them be successful in college," said Silveri. "I want my pupils to have access to the best speakers and not just the ones that our district can afford."

Silveri's 3 Classroom Skype Tips

  1. Find speakers whose fields of expertise coincide with the class curriculum, current events, or service learning projects.
  2. Keep classroom time constraints and the guest's schedule in mind when setting up the calls.
  3. Test the computer, monitor, projection screen, speakers, and webcam before every ca

Silveri has parlayed that commitment into a number of online engagements. While working on National History Day projects, for example, Silveri's AP literature students were asked to examine the rhetoric behind historical stories. To help bring the assignment to life Silveri worked with Fort Scott, KS-based Lowell Milken Center, a student and teacher think-tank for celebrating unsung heroes in history. She organized an online conference with a project coordinator who discussed the value of conducting thorough research.

Silveri said such activities help students better grasp the classroom material. Plus, she said, "they simply love the fact that the speakers take the time out of their busy days to come and talk to them online." Most importantly, she said, the sessions are free to set up, easy to orchestrate, and require no bus trips, special permissions or financial commitments.

"As teachers, our hands really are tied because schools pretty much have an aversion to letting students leave the building," said Silveri. "Getting out is exactly what students need to get ready for college and for the real world."

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