Skype in the Classroom

alumni_2015_v3I’m super excited about this week because my MakerSpace has an exhibit at the Orlando MakerFaire this coming weekend.  Here’s our Maker page: http://www.makerfaireorlando.com/maker/benito-makerspace/.  I was also accepted as a presenter at the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando.  My session will be called “Zero to MakerFaire: A Year in the Life of a MakerSpace” where I will be showcasing our MakerSpace program from our first year.  We’ve had an amazing experience and I’m excited to share it.

This summer at the ISTE 2015 Conference, I attended a session about Skype in the Classroom and was very excited about the possibilities Skype offers for educators and students.  When I decided to do monthly technology trainings at my school for the teachers, I knew Skype was the one I wanted to start with.

I thought I’d share what I did with my teachers in case anyone wanted to use what I did.

I started by using the Skype Intro Video on the homepage to introduce Skype in the Classroom.

We discussed the amazing ability to collaborate with classes around the world.  At ISTE, I learned of classes from Greece, Nairobi and the US working together on projects.  I learned of classes around the world sharing holiday traditions with each other and learning about what life is like in their part of the world.

At ISTE, I also learned about the Mystery Skype game where students in classes try to guess the location of the other class.  The teachers are the only ones who know the location  You can check out Mystery Skype by watching TODAY Show host, Natalie Morales, play the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz8zia-3NK8&feature=youtu.be.  I shared this with my teachers to give them an example.  Pernille Ripp has an amazing OneNote about Class Jobs for the Mystery Skype game.

At ISTE, the Skype Master Teachers discussed the ability to find guest speakers through Skype or on Google/Twitter and invite them into your classroom.  At the bottom of the Skype in the Classroom page, there is a link for Guest Speakers in the following fields:

  • Computer Science
  • Literacy
  • Entrepreneurs 

    Virtual field trips are another great use of Skype in the classroom.  I found this great YouTube video of a Skype field trip with Cousteau here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzBf_J0dvyU

One of the most amazing things I learned about using Skype in the Classroom is Skype Translator .  I found this article by EdTech Review about the uses of Skype translator in education: http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/1924-getting-to-know-skype-translator-and-its-uses-for-education

Even though it’s not just Skype, I shared the information about Pernille Ripp’s Global Read Aloud: http://theglobalreadaloud.com/ because of its great global collaborative possibilities.

The teachers that showed up at the training were very excited and one of the teachers had me talk with her classes the next day to see if the students were interested.  I showed the students the introductory video and the Skype translator video and they were as excited as we were.  Another of my teachers that teaches AVID wants to Skype with an AVID classroom in another country also so that’s my new research project.   I”m looking forward to some fun, collaborative Skype projects this year.

Google Slideshow from Skype training at ISTE 2015

For my next month’s training, I’m going to do response systems such as Plickers and Kahoot!.  I’ve had several teachers show interest in knowing more.

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