The growth of Skype use in the classroom
As a follow up to Skype CEO Tony Bates’ blog on “The Transformational Power of Skype in the Classroom” last month, we thought it would be enlightening to share a round-up of some recent news stories regarding schools across the globe and how they use video calling in their classrooms. When we see stories in the news about real use cases representing the power of video calling in educational environments, it really drives home how much Skype can help impact youths’ lives by enriching classroom content.
To demonstrate how Skype in the Classroom can enhance classroom learning, take for example how one Illinois school, Willowbrook School, recently used Skype video calling to help third graders practice their Spanish-speaking skills with native Spanish-speaking students in Texas. In fact, not only did Willowbrook’s third graders get to sharpen their language skills with fluent speakers, thanks to video they also got to see a snapshot of the Texan kindergarteners lives. We can only imagine how regular video call conversations between students from different walks of life help youth gain new perspectives!
Not only do we see students using Skype to connect with other students within the US, such as those at Willowbrook School, but we also see a growing trend of schools connecting with students in other countries. Just last week, a group of sixth graders in North Carolina connected via video call with students in Guatemala, enabling a virtual pen-pal experience. Being able to learn about each other’s daily lives, typical meals, hobbies and interests first-hand allowed for a culturally and educationally enriching experience. In addition to helping students in both the US and Guatemala understand the differences and similarities in their lives, I’m sure video call kept the students engaged and excited!
As the school year continues on, we love seeing the various ways teachers are taking advantage of video calling in the classroom. How is your school using Skype to enrich the classroom? Leave a comment and tell us.