Recently, several news stories about mentors using Skype caught my attention. These examples demonstrate how educators are increasingly using Skype in new and exciting ways to help engage and educate their students.
Ever thought of mentoring though Skype? Gibson Southern High School in Fort Branch, Indiana has been using Skype video calling in their classrooms to mentor a local elementary school’s second graders. The project, called “Skype is the Limit and Beyond,” entails the high school and elementary students connecting once a week via Skype video call, allowing the elder students to educate the second graders about various tools that will help them in the future. The students also bring in guests. Some recent guests include: a high school athlete and a manager from McDonald’s. The second graders love having the chance to have conversations with individuals of whom they don’t usually have access.
In addition to students mentoring each other, I’ve seen some great examples of experts in various fields mentoring students on different education topics to help them gain deeper knowledge. For example, Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, California has used Skype to have students present their projects to experts for constructive criticism. After weeks of working on architecture projects, these students were able to share their great work through video call with professional architects for mentoring and feedback. Further demonstrating how Skype has enhanced school projects, Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks, California also used Skype video calling to connect with the author of a book the students just finished reading. Through technology, students in several schools have been able to advance their education by getting first-hand information from mentors, experts and more. Interested in connecting your classroom with experts or other classrooms around the globe? Skype now offers a free online community called Skype in the classroom that helps teachers and classrooms find and connect with each other to engage classroom lessons. For more information, go to education.skype.com.
Have you seen an interesting use of Skype in the classroom that might help inspire other educators and students? Leave a comment and share with us.