10 Ways To Start Using Skype In The Classroom

Skype can connect your classroom to the rest of world with ease. There’s an entire site called Skype in the Classroom that’s packed full of useful ideas. As you can see in the above video, technology enables classrooms to connect like never before. Tools like Skype are some of the most important pieces of education technology out there, in my opinion.

Skype, despite a few flaws like dropped calls and all that, is like having something out of The Jetsons in your classroom right now. In other words, video calls are now possible and even free for most types of calls. Between Skype and Google+ Hangouts, there’s a lot of exciting connections being made every day over video.

Below are just a few of my favorite ways to use Skype in the classroom. It’s by no means exhaustive but should serve as an inspiration to try out the tool today!

skype in the classroom

1) Connect with international classrooms

It’s as simple as setting up a free account. Just create a Skype account and start figuring out which fellow teachers are already using Skype. Then, you can go to the official Skype in the Classroom site to find international classrooms to connect with. It’s a great chance to introduce your students to another culture without having to, you know, fly them all around the world.

2) Learn a musical instrument

Ever wanted to learn violin or another instrument but couldn’t find an instructor nearby? While in-person is still probably the best, many students and teachers don’t have access or time to find a proper tutor. So you should consider using Skype to find someone to teach you an instrument that you’re itching to get your hands on.

3) Professional development

Skype benefits more than just students, as educators themselves can use it to plug in and keep their career skills sharpened and broadened.

4) Meet with librarians

Teachers and students alike who need some assistance with research or ask some questions about a specific book might want to consider hooking up a Skype link with the school library.

5) Guest lecturers

Many plugged-in professionals these days will gladly offer up special lectures and lessons to classrooms via Skype, and sometimes charge a much lower fee than if they were to travel!

6) Practice interviews

The education system frequently receives criticism for its failure to prepare students for the real world, but using Skype to help them run through mock-up interviews with each other, teachers, counselors, or professionals will help grant them an advantage.

7) Have a mystery call!

What is a mystery call, you ask? It’s simply a way for you to connect with another classroom in a different spot in the world … without having them tell you where they are. Students are then tasked with asking questions to figure out the location of that classroom. It’s like playing a geographic-based 20 questions!

8) Meet exchange students

The future is now. You can now find, meet, and get to know exchange students before they even make it to you in person. Skype is a fun way to figure out any potential problems or other questions, easing the arrival of the exchange student when they finally make it to your classroom or school.

9) Give students background tasks while Skyping

Share the responsibility of Skyping by giving students various tasks to perform while on the call. They can record the talk, blog about it, make a podcast, take notes, map out the discussion, or simply be charged with delivering a summary report on the call.

10) Parent-teacher conferences

Save gas, time, and energy by holding meetings with moms and dads via video chat instead of the usual arrangement.

Share Your Skype Best Practices

How do you use Skype in your classroom? Share your ideas and methods down in the comments or over on the good ol’ Edudemic Facebook page. Looking forward to learning from you!

5 Comments

  1. George Edwards

    March 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    This works great as have used skype with my students between classes and the students found they could do their work better having this tool for support with myself no need to send work by email with skype you just show and share your screen.

  2. Melissa

    March 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I have never used skype for personal or classroom reasons, this being said I am always looking for new ideas to bring to the classrooms I work in. I am currently a substitute teacher but aspire to have my own classroom utilizing a variety of technological tools. I would love to use skype to connect my students with students from other districts, states or countries. As a child I enjoyed having a penpal but waiting for a reply and never actually seeing or meeting my penpal was disappointing and at some point I lost interest and even forgot my penpals name. These days students can gain more from using the technology that is current and move away from the traditional letter, envelope, and stamp; students need to learn to use email, blog, video chat and other technical resources they will be required to use in career situations; skype and other programs like it offer so much to the world of education, it enables us to connect with others world wide.

  3. MikeWalker

    March 7, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Skype is very useful and saves a lot of time. Being able to see each other makes all the difference.

  4. Judith

    March 8, 2013 at 5:39 am

    I used Skype to get my students ( age 14-15) to connect with the elderly in their neighborhood. In this way the kids learned from people who know a lot about life, and the elderly learned to use Skype on their computers. The students had to explain how to use it and they had a wonderful experience, from both sides.

  5. Manish Kumar

    March 15, 2013 at 3:20 am

    This is such a cool tool. I am doing lot’s of meeting and conference through same. By sharing screen I am able to give demo to my clients .