Skype is a free online video chat resource that assists teachers in connecting with classrooms around the world.
At www.education.skype.com, teachers can put requests of topics to discuss with other classes, request guest speakers on a variety of topics, etc
50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom boasts a lot of powerful ways to utilize Skype in the classroom. Here are a couple of my favorites:
- Using Skype in the languages classroom. Find out how this teacher uses Skype to help her students study foreign languages from native speakers.
- Inclusion — helping a classmate join the classroom from home. This blog post explains how a 4th grade class used Skype to help a classmate with leukemia become a part of the classroom from her home.
- Foreign culture lessons. Skype allows students to see first hand what people’s homes, schools, clothing, weather, and more looks like. If a festival takes place, Skype can bring it to your classroom too.
- Present a performance. Whether your class puts on a play, demonstrates a science experiment, or presents the results of a class project, share the fruits of their works with other classes, parents, or other interested people.
- Professional development. Teachers can use Skype to access professional development opportunities, such as watching conference presentations.
- Share students’ work with parents. Let parents get a first-hand look at what their children are doing with Skype.
- Conference with parents. Whether a parent has to miss a regular conference or a concern comes up that requires speaking with a parent, Skype can provide an opportunity to connect with a parent that may not otherwise be available for a conference.
- Bring busy parents into the classroom. A busy parent who has knowledge to share with the classroom may be more likely to be able to make the time for a presentation if she or he can do so with Skype rather than having to leave work and come to the school.