Skype in the Classroom: More Than Just Mysteries

skypeclassOne of the dangers and delights of the web is how one thing leads to another. Last post, as I was reviewing Mystery Skype resources to share with you, I ended up exploring other Skype lesson resources as well. There were so many, I decided we needed two more posts.

Skype sponsors a Skype in the Classroom site that is full of interesting options. First, take a quick look at the overview.

As is clear from the video, one of Skype in the Classroom’s priorities is helping students become the next generation of philanthropists, through a partnership with very innovative Tom’s shoe company. It offers almost endless options for problem solving and broadening perspectives on the world.

But there are other possibilities as well. You can use Skype to link with authors and storytellers. Or perhaps your students would be more interested in speaking with someone from the tech industry. Skype in the classroom can help make that match as well.

skypereadingWant to try something new? You can search a database of lessons using Skype, sorted by subject and grade level. Many of them link to interesting outside sources. I tried two searches. First I pretended I was back teaching first grade looking for literacy activities. I found a whole collection of authors willing to Skype with classes. I also loved the mystery-solving lessons at Night Zoo. Some options had a cost associated, but many didn’t and it all looked like great fun.

Next I decided to try for options for my current life. I tried searching for lesson ideas in psychology for individuals age 18+. I didn’t find anything, but when I added an option for secondary students, I found options in law, mental health, and peer pressure. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to talk about peer pressure with a teacher from Jamaica?

As fast as technology and schools are changing, it feels as if most of us are barely scratching the surface of the options in front of us. Skype in the Classroom offers one window into the possibilities. If you find something exciting, please share!

More on Self Organized Learning via Skype next time.

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