Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Skype in the Classroom: Using Skype to Bring Education to Life - Sign Up Now!

I'm thrilled to share that Skype is officially jumping into the education game.  This is from the newly launched, "Skype in the Classroom" site.  

Skype in the classroom is a free online directory for teachers everywhere who want to use Skype to bring education to life.

Teachers all over the world are using Skype to make learning more exciting and memorable. It's easy to see why: Skype offers an immediate way to help students discover new cultures, languages and ideas, all without leaving the classroom.
  • Cultural exchange: Introduce your students to new ways of seeing the world with a cultural exchange between your class and another classroom anywhere in the world.
  • Language skills: Bring language to life with real-life conversations where students can practice a new language with a class of native speakers, or help English learners practice their skills.
  • Discovery: Try mystery Skype calls, where classes connect online and give clues to help each guess the other's location. Or introduce your students to a classroom in the location of a book they're reading or a subject they're studying.

Here's how it works

Skype in the classroom brings together a community of people and information to save teachers time and help them make the most of Skype and the international teaching community.
Teachers create a profile that sets out their interests, specialties and location. They can then browse through the community to look for teachers who can offer them help, or whom they might be able to help. Once teachers find someone they’d like to connect with, they can add that person as a Skype contact, or share Skype-related teaching resources.

Skype in the classroom is in beta, which means it is still being developed and refined. We are very open to feedback as to how we can improve it, so please share your comments and ideas using the Feedback tab on the left of the page. Equally, if you have an inspiring story about using Skype in your classroom, please share it with us.

Learn more by watching this video

Skype: inspired by education

Skype in the classroom was created in response to – and in consultation with – the growing number of teachers (Anthony Armstrong, Daniela Calligeri, Brian Crosby, George Mayo, Mark Parry, Tracy Peterson, Lisa Reid, Joanne Shang, Dan Sutch, Bud Talbot, Justin Talmadge and Silvia Tolisano) using Skype to help their students learn. It's designed to help like-minded teachers find each other and share inspiration and resources.

Skype is a huge supporter of educational initiatives both inside and outside the classroom. Two such partnerships were particularly influential in shaping this: Peace One Day, which uses Skype video to produce intercultural cooperation lessons, and The Global Learning Exchange, which uses Skype to foster communication between a school in California and one in Singapore.


  1. This is a better idea than the current online class method, which is basically either listen to recordings or read lecture material. The interactive aspect is pretty helpful. Live Meeting is a bit of a better tool, except for the fact that it's not free.

  2. Dear The Innovative Educator,

    Thank you for posting this! Skype is an incredible software program that helps us connect with people we never thought we could. I have used Skype personally with friends and family and I always look forward to when I can see them. One of my friends is studying in St. Maartin and whenever we talk on Skype it seems like she is still in the States sitting next to me (minus the palm trees).

    I have never used Skype in the classroom, but as a social studies teacher, I would love to incorporate Skype. Being able to talk to fellow students across the country or globe is a very exciting experience. I remember in one of my graduate classes we Skyped with a teacher in Budaba, Uganda who set up an impressive school there. Here I was sitting in my night class and I was able to speak to a fellow educator about his experience in Africa and teaching (while his students were waving in the background!). It was a moving experience and it motivated me to learn more about teaching opportunities in Africa.

    What Skype has to offer to educators can be used in any grade level and pretty much any subject area. Being able to learn from and teach others, is one of best learning tools we have. I would probably be most interested in the cultural exchange but I would definitely further that. If I were to teach a lesson on local history, I would try a set a Skype call with another school that is studying their local history. Therefore my students can share about their local histories and learn from each other.

    Have you used Skype yet in your classroom? Any recommendations? Are there certain lessons that work better than others?

    Thanks again for posting this!


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  4. Do You follow shannonmmiller on Twitter? She is the Skype goddess. You should see the stuff she does! Connecting her rural Iowans with the world - one Skype session at a time.

    I removed my own post because I'd missed the extra M in her handle. Here it is again.

  5. At talktocanada.com we also use Skype for our online classes -- may it be individual or group classes. We use the tools in Skype to present information in several ways. Audio only and video conferencing are both available options for English classes online through Skype. Document sharing and screen sharing allow the teacher to share important information with all students in the class. The whiteboard application in Skype is also a handy tool for demonstrations of proper English usage.

  6. Consider joining our Skype-in Poetry Day http://www.classroom20.com/forum/topics/celebrate-poetry-day-w-skype

  7. Dear Innovative Educator,

    I am so sad that I have lost so much time in following your blog. I will have to work hard to see all that is offered here. I am a math teacher, and I have taken it upon myself to find ways to incorporate technology into our math classes. We have the graphing calculators and the smart board that we will figure out, but all of us have the feeling that something else is out there and available. I have been impressed with the endless possibilities that are now within reach due to your diligence. Thank you!

    I am excited about using Skype for bringing in experts: As a teacher in Korea, we have many talented scholars in our area, but until we are connected to them in spite of the language barrier, it will be nice to have this way to connect to experts in our “common language” of English from whatever countries we choose. I look forward to experimenting with this and letting you know how it goes!