Sharing is caring!
Skype is not nearly as well known amongst teenagers as it was a couple year ago, since Facebook, Whatsapp and other apps have taken on similar features. The most lovely characteristic of Skype for education, however, is that no information needs to be shared in order to have a conversation.
Some time ago I used Skype to connect my classroom to a classroom in the USA. We talked, helped each other learn, and interviewed each other. Apart from connecting on Skype, the teacher in the US and I didn't have to be friends on Facebook or contacts on a different platform that provides tons of personal information. Eventually some students started to connect, too. They did so via Skype as well, to ensure privacy and safety.
Besides using Skype to connect people around the world, even within your own country, I found out that using it within your classroom can be very interesting too. Think of a quest where one student has to walk around the school while the student remaining in the classroom has to provide directions. Apart from that, Skype can of course be used for collaboration outside the classroom, fake job interviews, and practising speaking a foreign language. For the latter, being behind a screen truly takes away some of students' fear of speaking.
- STABLE internet connection
- No personal info needs to be shared
- Works well on all devices
- Students enjoy speaking via their device
- Connects people all around the world
- Requires stable internet connection
Irene van der Spoel (1996)