We posted a discussion earlier about Skype in the classroom, and we did not seem to get a good responce to it and we are wondering if there has been any movements with Skype in education.

Also if anyone would like to Skype with our school we are open to ideas from anyone, keeping it on education ofcoarse.

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Skype has tremendous potential for classroom use, but much of that potential has yet be fulfilled. I think one of the greatest benefits is that teachers can quickly and easily invite guests from all over the world to speak to their students. I have used it with both students and colleagues to bring in experts on a topic. Additionally, social studies and foreign language teachers could use Skype to connect with classes in foreign countries and language arts teachers could connect with the authors of works they are reading. A science teacher could demonstrate a lab activity using Skype's video capability or invite a researcher to discuss latest developments in his/her field. Additionally, students could make presentations to other classrooms within/outside their district (or different countries) or collaborate on a project using Skype.
Skype is easy to use, but it does use a lot of computer & network resources and some schools ban it, or restrict its use. Schedules and time zones can also limit the ability to arrange for a call with an invited guest. Some businesses ban Skype, too. I wanted a lawyer to talk to my students about U.S. civil rights, but though she had Skype usage banned at her office.
That said, Skype's ease-of-use and video conferencing capability make it a hugely beneficial tool in helping our students connect with others outside our classroom walls.

FYI - I have an informational Web page on Skype with three video tutorials:
http://edtechteacher.org/skypetutorial.html
Tom,
I added your Skype page to the homepage of my Edu-Skyper's Phonebook: a registary of educators who want to connect their classrooms - http://skypeintheclassroom.wordpress.com
Please register with us - at least check it out ok?
ken.kellner@stewardschool.org
This is an exciting idea, I think. I hadn't really thought about it too much up until this week, but I would love to give it a shot. I was in the middle of teaching my 4th grade math class when my dad rang in on Skype. My kids were amazed (it's just like on TV, they said). Later when I talked to my dad (a retired educator) about it, we decided that he would run one of my math centers over the computer one day. Why not bring distance learning to the early grades? I think it's awesome! I would love to link up with other classrooms and have students build virtual learning relationships.
We have used Skype for the last few years to connect classrooms to talk to a Peace Corp Volunteer in Africa about the malaria problem (4th grade), study culture in various countries (7th grade), compare holiday celebrations (2nd grade), interview a bat expert (2nd grade) and a few others I can't remember right now. Last week I was at a conference in Seattle so I was unable to physically teach my Wednesday technology class to our alternative school students, so I Skyped into the classroom with their regular teacher as facilitator while I taught the class from afar. A middle school teacher who will be out for maternity leave next year approached me about continuing to teach using Skype while on maternity leave. She wants to create a hybrid classroom model while she is gone so she can meet live, have podcasts for some lessons and use their class website. We have also used it for professional development. Skype is a very valuable tool to meet the needs of students today to connect and collaborate. I work with teachers throughout our district in Alabama and would love to connect classrooms and teachers to others. Please let me know if you are interested in beginning a partnership.
April,
Please use the Edu-Skyper's Phonebook: a registery of educators who want to connect their classrooms - http://skypeintheclassroom.wordpress.com
Please register with us - at least check it out ok? It's free and helpful.
Thank you,
Ken Kellner
ken.kellner@stewardschool.org
How do I do this. It says Click on comments, but it won;t let me
I've used Skype some in classes, and am working on developing some collaborative projects with schools in Argentina and Uruguay. I will use Skype for some of the project setup and discussion, and a ning for the project worksite. I find with Skype I need to have a pretty well defined objective for discussions to take place. I tried just doing chats between classes, and that tends to devolve pretty quickly into boredom.
Chris,
Please use the Edu-Skyper's Phonebook: a registery of educators who want to connect their classrooms - http://skypeintheclassroom.wordpress.com
Please register with us - at least check it out ok? It's free and helpful.
Thank you,
Ken Kellner
ken.kellner@stewardschool.org
I am planning to use skype in my classroom as an intraschool competition for a review of concepts with classes in the county who are learning the same content. STudents would prepare their own review questions beforehand with the attempt to "stump" the other class; individually on game day, students would stand in front of our class webcam and ask the question to the other class awaiting a response. Of course the team with the most points wins bragging rights, which will inevitably cause them to work harder on the next chapter either to improve or to remain the current champion. This can be done with multiple classrooms and in just about every content area.

I am also researching some other means to use it in my room as well but still working out a few "kinks" like tech issues with companies, other school, timing issues, etc. This will be the primary focus of my masters thesis: how skype can be used in education to improve the relevance of content for students bridging real world connections of the application of what they are learning in class. I would be happy to hear from anyone who comes across any research on this topic or would like to try to incorporate this stratgey into their classroom: I teach all three middle school sciences here in GA. Our skype account name is acscience. Thanks!
Ann Marie,
Please use the Edu-Skyper's Phonebook: a registery of educators who want to connect their classrooms - http://skypeintheclassroom.wordpress.com
Please register with us - at least check it out ok? It's free and helpful.
Thank you,
Ken Kellner
ken.kellner@stewardschool.org
Dear Ann Marie
I've just finished my bachelor thesis about "Synchronous eTandem Language Learning among ESL students" and I'd love to talk to you about my experiences. I'm heading for the master's degree and I need to expand my paper.
We carried out an online exchange with a Scottish high school from Edinburgh. Every Tuesday around lunch time we met online. Unfortunately we encountered a lot of technical problems. We all started out with vRoom by Elluminate (which is a great tool) but the Scottish firewall got into the way. So we switched to Skype (which would be banned in Scottish schools). This wasn't too much of an success either. The most we got were eight simultaneous connections at a time. I wonder if technology (bandwidth) is ready for such a project in class.
I'm still trying to find a simple and free audio / video chat tool to engage the students into eTandem language learning (http://www.slf.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/etandem/etindex-en.html). I don't give up yet...
We use Skype for language exchanges. We host the Mixxer, (www.language-exchanges.org), which essentially is a database of language learners looking for conversational practice with native speakers. For our classes, we invite native speakers of whichever language who are learning English. They sign up on the site and during class we partner them up with our students. Half of the class, about 25 minutes, is spent in the target language for our students discussing a topic. The other half is spent in English. It's been a great success. We had 17 classes do it this semester. Student evaluations have been overwhelmingly positive and professors enjoy the motivational boost it gives leading up to the exchange.

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