A lot of teachers today are making use of Skype in their classrooms. Skype. Your first thought may be that Skype is just another distraction like cell phones and text messaging. But like smartphones and text messaging, video chat over the Internet is here to stay and kids are making use of it every day. Rather than prohibiting the use of digital devices in the classroom and spending time and effort enforcing those rules, why not incorporate them into classroom learning? New technology does no have to be an obstacle to learning; in fact, it can be used to increase it.
If it seems like kids are constantly glued to their tablets and their smartphones, it’s because they are. These devices are captivating, they are engaging! And history lessons? Well if you aren’t dressing up like Abraham Lincoln or Sigmund Freud, you kids may be slipping in some zzz’s in class. If you are interested in engaging your students through the use of the latest technology, you may want to take a whack at using Skype in the classroom. Here are some ways to use Skype in the classroom:
- Rather than having a guest lecturer make the trip to the classroom, have them give their lecture to students over Skype. This will save time for both you and the guest lecturer. Now you and your students can not only hear from local guest lecturers, but from people across the globe.
- Use Skype to connect classrooms: With the use of Skype, your classroom can collaborate with classrooms from other countries. This gives your students a great opportunity to learn about different cultures.
- Teaching development: You don’t have to limit your learning of the latest education innovations from educators in your area, in fact, you can collaborate with other educators across the globe to get ideas for lesson plans. Conference presentations by professionals are now at your fingertips.
- Set kids up with a Skype pal: Let students communicate with other students from other states or other countries to learn about their culture and what they are learning in school. Your students will be eager to share what they learned with you and the other students so let them give a presentation in the front of the class.
- Use Skype to aid in learning a language: When it comes to learning a new language, practice is key. With the help of Skype, conversation does not have to be limited to within the classroom; students can now practice their oral skills with native speakers from across the globe.
- Use Skype for “mini” field trips. A tour over Skype? It’s possible!
Cover Image: mapsNworld.com via Nahid Sikander (Flickr)