What’s all the “Skype” about???


The last pillar I mentioned was learning to live together.  With Newoldschool.org, we are embedding Skype software to allow students to communicate with each other, not only all over America but all over the world.  Now, there are more reasons to use Skype other than to just say hello to a complete stranger.  One website offers an array (50 to be specific) of ways to use skype in the classroom. (click on skype icon to see the 50 ways you can use skype in the classroom).  People always wonder when the future is going to get here thinking of flying cars and beaming up to places like Star Trek.  Well, if you ever watch Star Trek, they do a lot of video conferencing on the main screen when talking to other ships.  That my friend, is Skype, and the future is here.  Students can log on to this site and use Skype to do projects.  For instance, If a student was doing a report on Australia, they can use skype to actually talk to someone from Australia.  As teachers we always stress usiing primary sources and first hand accounts, well this is the primary source machine.  Other than sharing information, students are learning to see people from different cultures which has value well beyond their years in school.  In the workforce, you can’t choose who you work with.  You have to be able to work with people of all different races and creeds, and if students are using skype in school and are subjected to these experiences, then you will see prejudice and racism decrease over the years.


On the site that talks about the 50 ways to use skype in the classroom, they mentioned another cool point.  How awesome would it be if you could have an author of a book you are reading skype into your classroom and hold a discussion?  This tool is invaluable as a teacher .  You can skype politicians, atheletes, authors, and anyone that has access to the software.  This is brinigng students into our society instead of telling them what it will be like “when you are in the real world”.  With skype we can bring the real world to them first.

Together, teachers and newoldschool.org can bring students, people, and educators together in a combined effort to give our students experiences that can only be dreamed of.  So please, tell me what you all think!!!

9 thoughts on “What’s all the “Skype” about???

  1. Hi Christian, great idea on pushing the use of Skype in the classroom. I have been trying to get this set up in my classroom for a while now. There are endless possibilities with the use of Skype in the classroom. The world is literally at ones fingertips with that technology. I found two websites that could be resources for your topic. Skype itself offers a website that appeals to teachers with the different uses of Skype in the classroom. http://education.skype.com/ . You can include this as a reference for anyone who is interested in getting started with Skype. The 50 ways to use Skype in the classroom can also be found at: http://www.teachingdegree.org/2009/06/30/50-awesome-ways-to-use-skype-in-the-classroom/ . Maybe you can create a page of links to the awesome topics you talk about so people don’t have to Google it.

  2. Christian-
    I really appreciate the fact that you tied in your blog with your pillars of vision. It is great that you are staying focused on the vision of your website. Also, your insights on Skype were really interesting. When I was in grade school and high school, Skype didn’t even exist and now they are coming up with 50 ways to utilize the service in the classroom. It is a really interesting video and, if I decide to start teaching in a classroom setting, I will definitely keep your video in mind!

    Keep up the great work!!

  3. Christian,

    As much as I use technology everyday of my life, I honestly never would have thought of using Skype in the classroom. I think that you bring up many great points in your blog. It would be very awesome for students to be able to communicate with people of a different country to see the similarities or differences between one location and culture to another. I think it would also be very beneficial for students to talk with an author of a book or a survivor of a war or epidemic that would not be able to fly or visit your school. Using Skype in the classroom makes a lot more things possible. Now that I think of it, Skype has a lot of uses in the classroom.

    Here is a link for using Skype in the office as well as in the classroom.
    Skype for the Office – http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/business/
    Skype in the classroom -http://www.teachhub.com/using-skype-classroom
    There is a section of this link that has tips for teachers to use Skype in their classroom. Thank you for bringing this information to everyones attention!

  4. I was very interested in reading your blog after reading the title. I have only used Skype once to talk with my sister-in-law when she went overseas for work and never really considered the possibilities the software holds for education. Wow! I have already bookmarked the link for 50 ways to use Skype in the classroom. Thank you for sharing that wonderful resource. I’m curious, have you used Skype at all in any of your classes? If so, how did it go? How did you use it? I can just imagine how excited my fifth graders would be if I could get an author to Skype our classroom, or to Skype with another classroom somewhere else in the world.

    A great resource that I found after reading your blog is http://education.skype.com/. It allows you to collaborate on projects, connect with other teachers, and find and share teaching resources.

    Great blog post Christian! On a side note, I clicked on your video link and couldn’t get any sound. I’m not sure why. I played around with the volume setting on my computer and on the video and never got anything. I will try again later, I’m sure it is something wacky on my part.

    • It might be somethinge done whacky on my part too. I’ve done some things on this site that has made me go back and retrack my steps for over an hour on how to fix something.

  5. I really liked your Star Trek analogy. When you think about it, we really do have access to some truly amazing technology. And there is no reason why we shouldn’t be exposing students to it in the classroom. Our school has an International Day each spring, where many classrooms research a specific nation and transform the room to represent the country. One year, one of my coworkers in first grade had selected England because she had a friend studying in England. She arranged to have him Skype with her class and her 6 year old students were able to get a first-hand glimpse into another country. Pretty amazing when you think about it!

    After reading your post, I thought of what a great tool this would be for foreign language teachers. They could possibly partner with a class in another country that was learning English and the Skype conversations would be mutually benficial. When I was looking for further information about that, I came across this article which listed some of the other benefits of Skype in the classroom. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/using-skype-at-school.html I really appreciated the first point about Skype being budget-friendly. All schools already have internet connections, so teachers would just need access to a webcam, which many school may have already.

  6. Christian,

    Skype in the classroom… Who would have thought of that!? I mean it isn’t so far fetched considering the level on which technology has been emerged into the classroom. So many things can get done through Skype in school. Perhaps if there’s a show in school and parents may not be able to attend it can be broadcasted via the school’s Skype channel. Peer tutoring can be done via Skype should they be unable to meet in person. Group activities or projects can be done via Skype.

    The opportunities are endless and having that available to students may make things a little more interesting! After coming across your site I decided to look into ways of using Skype in the classroom and I found this:
    To my surprise an idea I mentioned in the first paragraph was listed on it! This whole idea has been very enlightening and hopefully one day when I get the opportunity to incorporate technology into my preschool classroom I can find a way to use Skype as well!

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