One Million Classrooms Worldwide Connected By Skype? Wow!

 

It’s a brand new world of education, and Skype is leading the way. No longer simply a software application that allows users to make free voice calls over the Internet, its goal is to sign up a million classrooms and bring them together to share exciting projects and ideas.

Communicating around the world via the Internet is not new. My son, who is now 27, was in sixth grade when he took part in MayaQuest, a program that connected teachers and students with an expedition team in Central America as they explored the mysterious collapse of the ancient Maya civilization. Every day for two weeks, my son and his classmates talked to the experts via email and watched them as they made their way on bikes.

And there are numerous other examples of teachers using the Internet to connect with classrooms around the globe, bring in guest speakers without asking them to travel, and take virtual field trips.
So how is Skype in the Classroom different?

From mashable:

“Skype has been going on for many, many years, and teachers have been finding each other and they’ve been finding ways to use the power of Skype in the educational process for a long time,” said Skype CEO Tony Bates on Wednesday at the Social Good Summit. “We really felt that it was time to take this to the next level…moving from grassroots Skype in the classroom to an initiative driven by Skype.”

Skype Making Global Communication Easier

In other words, what has long been accomplished between teachers using Wikis and individual project websites is now getting some organizational help from Skype.

Using the platform, teachers can create profiles that describe their classes and teaching interests. They can also search a directory of teachers from all over the world by student age range, language and subject.

What is perhaps Skype in the Classroom’s most useful feature is a “project” tab that helps teachers find partner classrooms for projects and ideas. One teacher, for instance, used the platform to coordinate a “weather around the world” unit. A middle school in Massachusetts regularly chats with an Afghan youth peace volunteer group. Another was able to host a virtual visit from Barbara Bush.

More Than 16,000 Teachers Signed On So Far

More than 16,000 teachers have signed up on Skype in the Classroom, since a beta version was launched in December.

Not only does this sound way more engaging than reading from a thick textbook, it also opens infinite possibilities for global sharing and global understanding.

These will be lucky students who get to take advantage of Skype’s initiative. Very cool!

 

Related Stories

Is Technology Necessary For Learning?

Who’s In Charge – Our Technology …. Or Us?

Photo Credit: mrmayo

43 comments

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W7 years ago

Yes. Wow!

SEND
Lynn C.
Past Member 7 years ago

I agree with Doris T. The most important thing this could do would to make our children aware of wonderful people in every nation! We are so isolated in this country, and ignorant because of it!

SEND
Len Forster
Len Forster7 years ago

Using Skype in this way is absolutely awesome. It will go a long way toward contributing to an improvement in the education of children all around the world, and, in this country, it may even lead to an educational awakening among our children that is sorely needed and long overdue.

All I can say is: Skype, you've come a long way, baby.

SEND
Becky S.
Becky S7 years ago

Finally, technology copntributes something worthwhile!!

SEND
Jo Asprec
Jo Asprec7 years ago

An exciting idea!

SEND
Andrew Carvin
Andrew C7 years ago

This is all kinds of awesome.

More of this please. :)

SEND
sandra m.
Past Member 7 years ago

amazing what can be done today!

SEND
Marilyn L.
Marilyn L7 years ago

It's not a good idea, it's a great idea. Wonderful idea.

SEND
Victoria M.
Past Member 7 years ago

love this ;)

SEND
Betsy Reiss
Fiona O7 years ago

Knowledge of the technologies of communication is the knowledge of the future. I am so glad our children are learning such an important subject.

SEND