What it is: Skype is an incredible tool. It is a free download that allows you to video chat with anyone in the world (who also has Skype downloaded) for free. Teachers have been using Skype in the classroom for years now to connect to other classrooms, to connect with experts, and even to introduce their students to favorite authors (Skype an author). There is a new tool coming for education, a Skype classroom directory. This directory will connect teachers and help them to use Skype to enrich students’ educational experiences. The directory will be launching in December (English only) but you can pre-register for it now. Once you sign up with your Skype account, you will be able to search for other teachers and classes by searching by subject or region.
How to integrate Skype Classroom Directory into your curriculum: Skype Classroom Directory will be a leap forward in connecting teachers and classrooms around the world. Use Skype to connect your students to others around the world who are learning similar content, for a debate, for an inquiry unit, to teach and learn from each other, to connect with experts, for a global virtual book club, or just to bring some cultural richness into your classroom.
Tips: Yesterday the topic of the first #edchat (a chat on Twitter) was global collaboration. Skype is an excellent way to collaborate globally. The Skype directory will be an enormous help in connecting teachers on global projects, right now there isn’t a great way for teachers to connect purposefully for global projects. As it stands, you send out a tweet request for help and wait for someone to answer. Yesterday on #edchat I proposed that we come up with a Twitter hash tag to use when we are talking about global collaboration tools or opportunities. Anyone looking for someone to connect with can just search the hash tag #glolab. If you are looking for teachers to collaborate use and search the #glolab hash tag to connect.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Skype in your classroom!