Celebrating Top Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom

Aug 30, 2013 10:30 AM ET

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Skype’s education program, Skype in the classroom, breaks down classroom walls and allows children to be a part of experiences from around the globe by granting them unprecedented access to new experiences, from the top of Mt. Everest to the bottom of the sea. Skype makes it possible for students in China to practice language skills and share customs with school children in Chicago, and for NASA scientists to show students firsthand how to prepare a space vehicle for takeoff.

Currently, more than 66 thousand teachers across the globe already are using Skype to make learning more exciting, memorable and engaging for their students.  Here are some of the amazing ways Skype helps teachers enrich the lives of their students:

  • Remote Learning for Sick Students
    In the event of an illness that keeps a child at home sick, teachers can set up Skype video calls in their classrooms to keep students from falling behind.
  • International Language Exchange
    Learning a new language can become simple using Skype to sharpen grammar and pronunciation skills through conversation.
  • Celebrating Cultural Differences
    Students can attend virtual field trips with Skype to connect with classrooms across the globe allowing them to learn different cultures, teach each other local customs and discuss national issues.
  • Reading to Classrooms
    What do author Nancy Richardson Fischer and The Bachelor’s Sean Lowe have in common? They are among the many authors and celebs who’ve read a story to students in a classroom to promote reading and literacy.  
  • Science Lessons from NASA Experts
    Students can learn how to prepare a space vehicle for liftoff, help scientists and engineers explore the basic principles of matter and design their own spacesuit mission patch, all through NASA’s Digital Learning Center and the help of Skype.
  • Skype Field Trips
    Teaching a lesson on the Earth’s highest mountains or a unit on the ocean? Explorers such as Mark Wood and Fabien Cousteau have taken students on field trips to the top of Mt. Everest and to the bottom of the sea via Skype. Check out Skype in the classroom’s month-long celebration of our oceans with Cousteau’s record-breaking Mission 31 expedition in November here.
  • Mystery Skype Lessons
    Link up to a classroom in another region and have them offer up hints as to their true location, challenging students to guess where in the world their new friends live.
  • Facing Off with Local Politicians
    Politicians including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana are taking to Skype to eliminate distance barriers and engage students in real dialogue about education and government policy.
  • “Digital” Career Day
    Don’t just tell the kids what you do for a living, show them! Skype allows parents to attend their child’s career day, virtually, so kids can see first-hand what it’s like to work in different fields.
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences
    Parents can use Skype to keep in touch with their childrens’ teachers from anywhere, even when they’re stuck at work. 
  • Remote Teaching
    Ditch the substitute teacher. Professors can bring students to learning conferences, summits, or even on sabbatical with them by using Skype to continue the lesson plan while on the road.

Through the Skype in the classroom program, teachers and students can meet new people and discover new cultures all around the world – without taking a step outside the classroom.

For more information on how Skype in the classroom works and to sign up, check out the website at education.skype.com.