Using Skype in the Classroom

image of a child at a computer

Photo by Ernst Vikne

Skype… What’s the hype?

Today, I am giving a presentation at California State University, Fullerton’s Community Literacy Festival about using Skype in the classroom. In preparation for this presentation, I did a lot of Googling and ran across many outstanding resources which I bookmarked in Diigo. (See lists below) They made me title my presentation, “Skype… What’s the Hype?” After viewing the videos I plan to share with my audience, I cannot see how they could not get hyped about Skype. The way educators are using it in the classroom is truly amazing–including Skyping with authors, conducting Mystery Skype sessions, and attempting to visit 80 schools around the world via Skype. Although it’s not in my PowerPoint presentation (Whoops!), the Global Read Aloud Project, created by the deep-thinking educator, Pernille Ripp, also known as @pernilleripp on Twitter, is another wonderful example of how Skype can be used in the language arts classroom.

Many of the resources I found that made me so hyped about Skype come from one truly inspiring educator in particular, Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, also known as @langwitches on Twitter. In my presentation, I am sharing several of the videos she created with the amazing students at Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, Florida. There is one video in particular that I wish I had enough to time to show during my presentation, but it is almost 21 minutes in length and I have so many others I want to show. Again… after watching the video, I cannot see how anyone would not be hyped about using Skype in the language arts classroom. For your viewing pleasure, I will embed it below. :)

Around the World with Skype from langwitches on Vimeo.

Skype Resources

P.S. Here is another resource that will help you get authors into a school with a limited budget: Achieve Author Visits on a Budget.

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  • Julie Niles Petersen

    You’re welcome, Rashad. I wish the best of luck to you. I wish Skype had been around when I learned French in high school. That would have been SO much better than having a penpal. Actually, a combination would be good so you could work on multiple language arts–reading, writing, listening, & speaking. :)