Skype is a video-conferencing tool which allows classes to connect with other classes around the world. Skype, which is a great tool for education, allows educators to connect their classes with classes around the world. There are several ways that Skype can educators can use Skype such as: Skype lessons, mystery Skypes, virtual field trips, and by bringing in guest speakers from anywhere using video.
- [Narrator] Another great product closely tied to Microsoft Office is Skype. Skype is a video conferencing software that allows you to connect, through video, with others from around the world. It's similar to a product like Google Hangouts. Now over the past couple years, Microsoft and Skype have put a lot of time and energy, as well as resources, into making this a great product to benefit educators at every level. A great place to learn about this is at education.microsoft.com/skypeintheclassroom.
This will bring you to the Skype in the Classroom homepage. Now let's take a look at some of the ways that you can utilize a tool like Skype to improve your instruction. First, you can use it for Skype lessons to collaborate with classrooms from around the world. This is a great way for your students to connect with others from different geographical regions to learn more about cultural differences. It's also a great way to find authentic audiences, which I have found to be one of the most powerful motivators for students. Rather than having your students give a project pitch, a presentation, or a debate with students in your own class, have them connect with another class from another city through Skype.
I think you'll find that your students will step up their game considerably, and it benefits everyone. In the digital age, it's important for our students to be connected beyond the confines of the classroom walls. And Skype is a great way to do this. You can use the website or social media to find other classes who are interested in connecting. I'm going to navigate back. Now a second way to use Skype is through Mystery Skypes, in which you engage your students in critical thinking skills by having them connect with a mystery class, and through asking questions, trying to guess where they're located.
You can check out here that they have the Mystery Skype page or you can go to find other educators who want to participate in Mystery Skypes. I'll go back. We also have the option of virtual field trips. Now you likely don't have the funding to take your students to distant museums, parks, landmarks or geographical regions but now through Skype field trips, we can provide students with a virtual experience that allows them to experience these things through video conferencing. I'll click here on the Virtual field trips page.
And as you can see, they have a bunch of different virtual field trips here. You can filter and search by age group, subject, different products, skill development, country/region, language, and more. I'm going to back up again. And finally, use Skype to bring in guest speakers. I've found that bringing in guest speakers from different fields is a powerful way to motivate and educate students and give them a perspective from someone in a particular field. At first, when I began doing this, I focused on bringing in local experts, which is absolutely wonderful, but somewhat limiting.
Now we can use a tool like Skype to bring in a guest speaker from thousands of miles away, through the use of video conferencing. You can have the presenter speak to your students, but also use a device to have the presenter be able to see and field questions from your students as well. As you can see, Skype is a powerful tool with a lot of great uses for education. I recommend checking out Microsoft's Skype for Educators page. And to learn more about Skype, check out the course in our library titled Up and Running with Skype for Windows by Lisa Larson-Kelley.
- Creating effective and engaging presentations
- Creating flipped classes with Office Mix
- Empowering students with PowerPoint
- Creating tutorials, newsletters, and flipped classes with Sway
- Tracking student progress in Excel
- Using Word templates
- Creating visual representations in Word
- Using OneDrive for collaboration and storage
- Creating modules and flipped classes using OneNote
- Using Outlook, Docs.com, Skype, and SharePoint