Skype Video Conferencing: Home Use to School Possibilities

Skype logo

I finally used Skype. I gave both my sons webcams and headphone mikes for the Christmas. One son is about 500 miles away so he does not get home much. We had no trouble connecting. He found out that he had to get the camera working first, restart Skype and then we could see each other. The joy of seeing him with all his facial expressions was heart warming. He got to show us the “computer room” by panning his webcam and to show us his new “toys” by holding them up to the camera.
The sound was quite good and the video quality of the camera was OK (a little grainy and quick movement became a slur on the screen). It reminded me of the early days of CUSeeme but with much better quality.

I thought of some possibilities for Skype in school:

-Shadowing a professional as she/he works

-Talking with people in labs, research centers, art studios, museums, “on location”

-Watching an expert do something or explain something (Your neighbor who does composting can explain it to the class and show her compost to them.)

-Class to class collaborative videoconferencing (not having to bring a big videoconferencing unit in the class and not having to go to the videoconferencing room is a big plus.) in all subject aeas.

-Conversing in the second language to people from that language area

– Watching an event such as a school play, a poetry jam, science demonstration (egg drop), etc.

– Another teacher from another district can help you co-teach your class since that teacher is an expert in the topic your students are doing.
-Mentor (A master teacher can watch your class and then give suggestions)

Skype presents a great example of bringing the world into our classroom and going into the world with our classroom. Did I mention it was free!!!!

So how have you used Skype in your school or what things would you like to do in your school with Skype?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


13 Responses to “Skype Video Conferencing: Home Use to School Possibilities”

  1. 1 datruss January 2, 2007 at 12:36 am

    A great list… Thanks.

    One thought I had was allowing parents to see student presentations.

  2. 2 hgtuttle January 2, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Great idea. Parents could also give expert advice for other students in the classroom for their work area.
    With CuSeeMe, we did a videoconference with another school and allowed parents to watch the conference

  3. 3 inel January 5, 2007 at 8:18 am

    Skype is great for private tuition as well: especially if you already know the teacher, but move to another country and want to continue private lessons long-distance, as we did.

    For Mac users, iChat AV is a good alternative—we use that occasionally too.

    I suppose the day will come when parent-teacher conferences can be done this way … without parents leaving their homes or offices to meet teachers at school! How bizarre does that idea sound now?

  4. 4 hgtuttle January 5, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    The idea of a “teacher” being anywhere in the world (as long as the teacher has access to the Internet) is powerful.

  5. 5 Quentin Allen February 17, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Thrilled to read your imaginative and thoughtful thoughts regarding the use of Skype video. I have had some thoughts myself. I would hope to assemble the appropriate equipment and techniques enabling distant expertise to communicate at an annual early child education conference to bring the best evidence for reform of our school system. There are great minds out there, as John Abbott of Bath, England, innovative techniques in New Zealand, the aggregation of wideband communication in Singapore, and so on which we must share. We must immediately make person to person communications more “in your face” so we can not only share the rich resources but the also the needs of so many suffering people over the planet. Skype, I would hope, would be a means to improve the planet. Your comment solicited.

  6. 6 hgtuttle February 18, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    I agree that once we break down the walls of schools we can have truly interactive and global learning. We no longer “talk about” but “see and experience” a situation.

  7. 7 Claudia June 15, 2007 at 8:18 am

    Well, I would have to agree with you on all those possibilities. And instead of handing out headsets, an efficient speaker in the amphitheater would have to suffice. But when it comes to parent-teacher conferences, I would say it is still better to interact in person. It is a primate thing.

  8. 8 Movers Singapore September 18, 2013 at 2:55 am

    Awesome blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for
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  1. 1 Mr. W’s EduBlog » 7-C-2 Skype Ideas Trackback on February 21, 2008 at 1:46 am
  2. 2 Research - art483wi10_team6 Trackback on January 31, 2010 at 12:14 am
  3. 3 January 24. Article about Skype - art483wi10_team6 Trackback on February 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm
  4. 4 6C2 Skype « Desiree's Blog Trackback on February 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm
  5. 5 IICT 2 LE #1 Resources | That's How the Light Gets In Trackback on April 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm

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