Community reviews for Skype

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Excellent form of communication!

Very efficient in communication, face and voice!
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Skype in the Classroom

I think it is a great tool to use! You do need to play with Skype first and make sure you understand how it works. There are a lot of features that it has that could be beneficial if you know how to use them. The students really enjoy Skyping with other people, but depending on the age their attention span may not be long. I would think about how long you want your Skype to be. You may need to make it on the shorter side for the younger students. Skype in the Classroom has some great resources that you can use to integrate Skype into your classroom.
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Amazing tool to connect through Mystery Skype!

My students were absolutely THRILLED every time we did Mystery Skype. They loved asking and answering questions about their state, city, and school. Mystery Skype provided a real-life way for my kids to connect with other classrooms around the world. Through Mystery Skype, my students got to see inside other classrooms and hear about the cultures of other students. Even after hanging up from our session, we would have great conversations around things such as accents, weather, and other classroom management. :) The only challenging part to this was finding teachers who were willing to Mystery Skype. I took to Twitter and found teachers there. There are teachers listed on Skype who say they are willing to Mystery Skype, but did not return requests or messages. Another tricky thing is accounting for time zones. When trying to set up a Skype with a class in another state, I had to keep in my mind that while my students were back from lunch in the afternoon, another class might be getting out for the day. If you can keep your sanity over schedules and finding other classrooms to Skype with, it is WELL worth your time! I highly recommend Mystery Skypeing!
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If you have the right situation, it's awesome

This is great once you find the reason to use it! Skype alone is nothing and has no pedagogical merit, you have to create the situation to make it a powerful tool. Find another classroom, just type "Skype Pen Pals" into google, and talk to them through Skype before exchanging letters. When a staff member goes on vacation or if an ex-staff member goes to China, give them a call with your students. If you find an interesting person in a field your students are studying, send them an e-mail and see if they'll jump on Skype with you! This is a great "world expanding" and "background knowledge building" tool, once you create the use case for it. Any critique I would give Skype, not helping more in finding "Skype pals" or not connecting you to experts automatically is null and void once you visit where they will help you engage your classroom from the bottom up. One gripe, which isn't on Skype, is that you do need proper bandwidth to make this work, choppy calls are engagement killers for students, you can either try and get your school to upgrade your bandwidth, plug in your computer hardline, or try just a voice call with no video (as a last resort, since the video is super engaging). Also plan your "Skype dates" with other teachers, so the whole school isn't making video calls at the same time.
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Connect With Anyone Anywhere

This has been great for us. It is very difficult to find the time and money to bring in guest speakers or take the kids to the speakers. This tool allows us to speak directly to experts in the fields. When our kids were creating their engineering posters we were able to Skype with a fellow at a college an hour and a half away. He was able to show us some examples of posters he had created and was able to see the posters our students were creating and provide feedback.
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Enhances communication and collaboration in the classroom!

This is a great resource to use in the classroom. By using Skype, you can connect your classroom with others anywhere in the world or right across the hall. I would like additional features such as file sharing and the ability to call more than one other person at a time.
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Skype connects students

Skype has a lot of potential in the classroom. It is an easy and free way to visually connect my students with other people nationally and internationally. I see it as a great way to allow students to speak directly to people in different fields and do inquiry-based learning and research. I am not that good with technology and this was easy for me to set up and use. I also like that people don't have to have certain cell providers, etc. to use Skype. I did have to invest in a better camera than the one built in on my computer. I think this could make me a better teacher because I could connect my kids with people who work in industries we are studying or with other schools. It could be a great way to do pen pals instead of emailing or writing.
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Skype is a great way to expose students to experts and to bring real life into the classroom.

I use Skype to connect with experts and other classes around the world. When we are studying a topic, I reach out to my friends, family, and social network for people who are willing to talk to my students about the topic and/or their job related to the topic. I love when they can actually come into the classroom, but that limits the people I can reach out. Skype allows me to have people talk to my students, regardless of where they are located. People are also much more willing to do a quick 20-30 minute conversation than commit to leave their job, driving to my school, and then talking to my students.
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Wonderful way to connect to the real world

Skype, or really any video chat app/website is a wonderful addition to any classroom. Skype uses a webcam (most computers have them built into the laptop now) and the computers built in mic to allow you to talk and see the person you are talking with. What is special about Skype is their education section. Here you can find other lesson plans teachers have made using Skype and most importantly, find people to connect with. Video chat doesn't work very well if you don't know anyone to chat with! Skype education helps with this. In the teacher section you can post your idea for a lesson and ask for help from other teachers and experts. You can help out too by reading other people's posts and connect with those who are looking for someone like you/your class to connect with. You can even narrow the search by age, subject, collection, and type of 'speaker' you are looking for. Skype also has a guest speaker section where they find some great speakers that you can sign up to connect with. Skype lets kids ask and get questions from real people not just their textbook and their teacher. Learning about rocks? Why not get a geologist on Skype to talk with your class? It is hard to go on field trips or get experts to come and visit but it takes very little out of a persons day to login on and chat away while still at their desk. Students can present what they have learned with other classes and learn from their far way peers too.
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It's free and practical

It's very useful and practical. The only limitation is not having a white board.
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