Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Skype in the Classroom: Using Skype to Bring Education to Life - Sign Up Now!

I'm thrilled to share that Skype is officially jumping into the education game.  This is from the newly launched, "Skype in the Classroom" site.  

Skype in the classroom is a free online directory for teachers everywhere who want to use Skype to bring education to life.

Teachers all over the world are using Skype to make learning more exciting and memorable. It's easy to see why: Skype offers an immediate way to help students discover new cultures, languages and ideas, all without leaving the classroom.
Cultural exchange: Introduce your students to new ways of seeing the world with a cultural exchange between your class and another classroom anywhere in the world.
Language skills: Bring language to life with real-life conversations where students can practice a new language with a class of native speakers, or help English learners practice their skills.
Discovery: Try mystery Skype calls, where classes connect online and give clues to help each guess the other's location. Or introduce your students to a classroom in the location of a book they're reading or a subject they're studying.

Here's how it works

Skype in the classroom brings together a community of people and information to save teachers time and help them make the most of Skype and the international teaching community.
Teachers create a profile that sets out their interests, specialties and location. They can then browse through the community to look for teachers who can offer them help, or whom they might be able to help. Once teachers find someone they’d like to connect with, they can add that person as a Skype contact, or share Skype-related teaching resources.

Skype in the classroom is in beta, which means it is still being developed and refined. We are very open to feedback as to how we can improve it, so please share your comments and ideas using the Feedback tab on the left of the page. Equally, if you have an inspiring story about using Skype in your classroom, please share it with us.

Skype: inspired by education

Skype in the classroom was created in response to – and in consultation with – the growing number of teachers using Skype to help their students learn. It's designed to help like-minded teachers find each other and share inspiration and resources.

Skype is a huge supporter of educational initiatives both inside and outside the classroom. Two such partnerships were particularly influential in shaping this: Peace One Day, which uses Skype video to produce intercultural cooperation lessons, and The Global Learning Exchange, which uses Skype to foster communication between a school in California and one in Singapore.

Special thanks

Skype in the classroom is a collaborative project that would not have been possible without the dedication of an incredible group of teachers: Anthony Armstrong, Daniela Calligeri, Brian Crosby, George Mayo, Mark Parry, Tracy Peterson, Lisa Reid, Joanne Shang, Dan Sutch, Bud Talbot, Justin Talmadge and Silvia Tolisano. Thank you.

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