Yesterday I held my final Technology Tuesday session for Term 3. The topic was Skype, which I use quite regularly in my classroom. Being 4.5 hours from Adelaide and 6 hours from Melbourne, we don’t get the same range of guest speakers that other schools may get in larger cities. I find that Skype can be fantastic for this, as it allows the students to still talk to an expert – and their teacher isn’t an expert at everything!!
I have also used Skype to chat with authors, such as Wendy Orr when my class read Nim’s Island. To actually ask the author about the book, instead of guessing what she was thinking or where she got her ideas from, was an amazing opportunity. Sharing lessons and projects with classes at other schools is such a powerful tool as students can see what other children their age are doing and how the quality of work can vary. At a conference recently, I was introduced to the concept of Mystery Skype, which I am excited to try very soon!
I use the Skype Education website, and you will need an account. The website is full of teachers and lessons to connect with, but I also connect with possible Skype-ists via Twitter.
For people that came to my Skype session, I created a very basic handout which you can find here. It just showcases a few examples of how I have used Skype in my classroom, which are all featured on my class blog.