Skype has made in vastly easier to stay in touch with the people who are important to us. With a little ingenuity, Skype also makes studying and collaborating with other students a much more straightforward experience.
We spoke with the experts (college students around the world) and came up with the Top 5 Skype Study Hacks:
1. Two (or three or five) heads are better than one
It’s never been more convenient to create a study group. In fact, study groups can come together spontaneously without even leave your dorm (or bed). Whether it’s done by video call or group video call, you can go over notes, strategize for tests, send and receive files and even share screens. As Brooke at San Marcos College in San Diego says, “Whenever I call a friend with a homework question, I use my Skype app on my smartphone so she can show me exactly what she’s doing and how.”
2. Mastermind mobile messaging
Collaborate with study partners from the noisiest of places (say, the dining hall) to the quietest of places (library) with Skype instant messaging. “I love being able to communicate about homework in real time and not worry if I’m bothering the guy next to me who is drowning in a pile Chemistry textbooks,” said Sam who is studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea. If you are on your laptop and the conversation requires more than messaging, send huge files right from your chat or share screens – and never make a noise.
3. Call in the experts
Many great universities are in small towns. Rural life is good for focus and building student camaraderie, but it’s not ideal for attracting industry experts to campus.
Callie, a student at University of Oregon (in Eugene), is involved with Public Relations Student Society of America. She says, “We’re able to connect with speakers through Skype, projecting the video onto a screen so that members can engage, connect and interact with our guest speaker even if he or she couldn’t make the trip to be there in person.” If there’s no projector, a speaker can meet by group video call and share files or their screens with the audience too.
4. Ramp up your research
A good research paper needs quotes from much more than just Wikipedia. Reach out and interview the experts and professionals who really have some insight into your subject – no matter where in the world they may live. Ana Paula at Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro says, “I’ve used Skype to interview people in the United States, France and Belgium for political science papers. Over a quick video call, they give me way better information than I’d get from a simple email. And it always impresses my professors when they learn something new from my paper.”
5. Additional access to academics
Can’t get enough of your favorite professor? Having trouble scheduling office hours with their busy schedule? Ask If they’ll do virtual office hours by Skype. That way, professors can be more flexible with their hours and see more students. It also give you the opportunity to interact with them in a less formal setting.