Video communication site connects users; lacks bells and whistles

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 10 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense


Price: Free, Paid
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Pros: Audio and video platform offers users free and low-cost communication options.

Cons: Lacks some of the more collaborative and creative features that lend themselves to online teaching and learning. No kid safety features, so supervised use is recommended.

Bottom Line: Far-reaching communication tool helps teachers cultivate a connected classroom.

Skype opens up opportunities for students to connect, whether it's with a teacher, each other, prominent figures, or students in other places. If you're facilitating distance learning or following a flipped classroom model, you can provide both one-on-one and group instruction to support your students. You can also conduct teacher- or student-led virtual conferences to help keep families abreast of student progress. 

Expand your in-person or virtual classroom by using Skype to bring guest speakers in for video discussions. Although many speakers charge a fee to visit classrooms, it's often more economical to do so remotely. And although a video call with an expert can't completely replicate an in-person visit, it's still a great way to enrich the experience students have in your class. Finally, for an engaging collaborative activity, try playing Mystery Skype. Mystery Skype is an educational game teachers invented that brings two classrooms together to solve the question of where each group is located.

Since there aren't any kid safety features here, supervised use is recommended.

Skype is a virtual video, phone, and text communication website and app with a simple interface. Its basic features are free, but you can also access additional paid features like global voice chats either by paying as you go or by subscribing. Creating calls is simple, allowing users to join as guests or with an account. Features within the platform allow users to record, chat, share screens, or send files. The files and chat also remain on the platform, which is good for storing lesson information to refer to later.

There's a "raise hand" feature, and participants can also "react" to the conversation with a range of emojis. Skype also features a Together mode where participants are set against a virtual backdrop that makes them appear as if they're in the same location. Another feature that stands out: real-time translations that can use AI or your natural voice. Lastly, participants can remain on a single call for up to 24 hours, which is much longer than similar videoconferencing platforms offer.

Teachers might miss some of the features that promote collaboration, such as breakout rooms or whiteboards. Some other limitations are that Skype has a 100-participant capacity, and it doesn't currently allow for social media streaming.

Few people could have predicted the explosion in virtual face-to-face communication needs that has occurred over the past several years, but it's clear that this meeting medium is here to stay. Early Skype opened up communication for millions of people, but it has since evolved into a sleek communication platform that, while lacking some of the bells and whistles of its contemporaries, has been a steady option for connecting individuals -- and classrooms -- around the world. 

Students thrive on collaboration and connection, and Skype provides opportunities for them to converse with historians, novelists, poets, journalists, or their peers in real time. Such experiences can broaden perspectives, enhance background knowledge, and complement classroom lessons without students having to venture beyond the walls of their classroom. Such experiences are invaluable to students as they and their teachers continue to trail-blaze through an increasingly dynamic virtual landscape.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Skype can be a fun way to extend learning beyond the walls of your classroom; live video chats can draw students in.


Students can learn the skills of video collaboration, but effectiveness of lessons is entirely based on the teacher's preparation.


Skype's accessibility features include closed-captioning, real-time translations, and compatibility with assistive technologies. Features are straightforward to learn and apply.

Common Sense reviewer
Marianne Rogowski
Marianne Rogowski Instructional Technology Facilitator

Community Rating

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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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Users can interact with trusted users.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information must be shared for social interactions.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is shared for third-party marketing.
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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