Skype is an easy and free way for teachers and students to make connections beyond the walls of the classroom. Students can learn from other students, connect with other cultures, and enjoy authentic learning. Teachers can use Skype for professional development and share their materials online. I agree that Video Conferencing can be difficult because of the gathering up of the students and taking them to the conference room. But with Skype, all a teacher needs is a webcam that has a microphone. In some cases, Skype can help with inclusive education. Here is a link to a great story as an example.Here are my top 10 reasons to use Skype in the classroom:
1. Meeting your ePals face to face.
2. Talking to an expert that you may have studied about.
3. Collaborating with other classrooms on a project.
4. Teacher Professional Development.
5. Parent Meetings.
6. Inclusive Education.
7. Have a story read from the real author.
8. Locate teachers who are looking to collaborate.
9. Raise Global awareness.
Number 10 is easier with Bridgit, Eluminate or other webinar software. Our School District uses Bridgit software which is a SMART Technologies product.
If you are interested in using Skype, I have created some online tutorials which can be found on the TLC wiki, or on my YouTube channel.