Wesley Fryer has written an article on Skype in the Classroom. It was published in TechEdge, the quarterly magazine of the Texas Computer Education. On his blog he notes his beginning and concluding thoughts:
for interactive exchange and collaboration between students living on
other sides of town or the other side of the planet. These synchronous,
real-time discussions using free software like “Skype” can tangibly
expand the walls of the traditional classroom and engage students to
write, share, and communicate with an authentic audience inaccessible
just a few years ago. Educators interested in helping motivate students
to develop both traditional as well as twenty-first century literacy
skills in the classroom can and should use audio conferencing
technologies like Skype to literally plug their students into
collaborative exchanges with global partners on a variety of projects.
Be safe using Skype and any other type of Internet communication technology. Refer to the Staying Secure with Skype User Guide (www.skype.com/help/guides/staysecure.html) and Skype Privacy FAQ (www.skype.com/help/faq/privacy.html) for helpful suggestions about using Skype as well as other computer programs safely when online.
is an example of a potentially ≥disruptive≈ educational technology tool
because it can fundamentally change the teaching and learning
environment. As Wayne Morren, principal of Floydada High School noted
Teachers as well as students must strive to creatively employ
technology tools to access, evaluate, synthesize and communicate
information. Only by engaging in this active process can ≥information≈
from the Internet be translated into knowledge in the minds of
learners. Classroom teachers can leverage the potential of disruptive
technologies like Skype, weblogs, podcasts, or one to one technology
immersion initiatives to increase student motivation to communicate
with authentic audiences, spend more time on assigned tasks, and
develop essential literacy skills needed for vocational and lifetime
success in the twenty-first century. Translated, this means increasing
student achievement, while simultaneously encouraging students as well
as teachers to engage in worthwhile and creative tasks. Twenty-first
century educators should aspire for nothing less.
It’s good to see articles like this coming out for educational use. If you’re not reading Wesley’s blog, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, add it to your list. Lots of insightful reading there.