The Essential Guide to the Use of Skype in Education
Many educators don’t realize that Skype could be a valuable classroom asset that gives students lots of new opportunities to learn. When you hear about Skype, you most likely think of video calls that you might make in your spare time. However, there is an entire world of untapped resources available through Skype for your school.
If you have been trying to incorporate new ideas into your classroom, signing up for a Microsoft Educator Community membership might be a smart move. You can give your students access to tons of resources and real-world experiences that will deepen their knowledge of the concepts you teach. Find out what sort of classroom activities you could plan in our essential guide to the use of Skype in your classroom.
Virtual Field Trip
Do you wish you could take your students on more trips but lack the funding or time to do so? Now, you can take them on a free virtual field trip using Skype. Kids can see the depths of the ocean, beautiful landscapes, and unimaginable views that they might not get to see in real life. One of the other major benefits of these virtual field trips is the ability to chat with live people. Students can talk with and interview experts in various parts of the world.
Skype Lessons and Guest Speakers
Students can learn from the experts in any given field using Skype. You can expand the opportunities your students have to learn deeper concepts from the people they admire. With a Skype lesson, they learn valuable information and gain experience interviewing experts.
Similarly, you can find guest speakers on any number of topics. There are tons of speakers with unique occupations like an Iditarod Teacher on the Trail, National Parks workers, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center workers. Your students can learn far more from talking with specialists than they can from reading a textbook alone.
Allow your students to see a new perspective by collaborating with another classroom on one large project. Students can share their half of the project via Skype and listen to the missing half from the other classroom. This gives students a chance to learn twice as much information and gain an appreciation for an entirely different group of people. Be sure to select a classroom that is much different than your own to give students a chance to see another part of the world.
Keep your students guessing and tie into other classrooms around the world with Mystery Skype. Your class can connect with another classroom somewhere around the world. Students must figure out where the other classroom is located based on their culture and geographical clues. They will need to use maps, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving to determine where the other classroom is located.
Start to think outside of the box to figure out how you could use Skype in the classroom more often. With these five tools at your disposal, students will have a much broader knowledge of the world around them. Access to these services is completely free, so you should start to make the most of them today.