Using Skype with students is an ideal way to engage them and connect what they are learning to real-world topics. Beyond Mystery Skype, what are other ways can you utilize Skype in your classroom? How about bringing a guest speaker into your class, booking a virtual field trip, or playing a virtual content-focused game with another class? From the main Skype in the Classroom page, you can select any of these options to book an immersive experience for your class… for FREE!
Here are other ideas beyond Mystery Skype to connect your students and content using Skype:
Take your students on a virtual field trip! We all have limited budgets in our schools, and field trips are difficult to arrange. Through Skype, you can book your students on a tour of Dinosaur National Monument or visit a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica! Take your students anywhere in the world without spending a dime or leaving your classroom!
Connect with experts as guest speakers. This not only demonstrates ways students will use what they are learning in their future careers, but also exposes students to inspiring professionals and opportunities they may not otherwise know exist. If you have a particular topic that your students are learning about, you can bring in an “expert” on that topic to really engage students. We’ve been able to connect our students with an Olympic athlete, a developer from the XBox team, a marketing manager at Amazon, a rescue diver, a Disney Imagineer, and many more. Experiences like this can really enhance student learning.
Connect with another class (or more for a group call) and play a collaborative game of Skype Kahoot. Select the topic/game with another teacher whose class is learning the same content. Connect via Skype, then share your screen so all classes use the same Join Code. Students in each class take turns explaining the answers as needed. Helpful hints: Have students use the teacher’s name as part of their user name, and be sure to mute the call during the response time.
Promote global learning experiences. Connect with classes all over the world and learn about other cultures. Students will not only learn about the world, they'll find we all have a lot in common. Along with Skype experiences with guest speakers, this can be used as a springboard for project and problem-based learning where, together, students can learn the power of using their collective voice to make a positive impact in the world.
Authentic audience for presentations: Connect with another class to share student or group presentations. Students will learn from and give feedback to each other.
Offer Skype as an option for students who are absent. If they choose, they may Skype into your class and still be a part of the learning and collaboration. For students with long-term illnesses, this not only helps the student stay connected to the classroom community, it also builds empathy and compassion among other students.
By creating global learning opportunities and connecting your students to the world using Skype, the opportunities and impact on learning are endless. How will you leverage Skype to impact your students this year?
Kyle Calderwood: Kyle is the Technology Coordinator at Tuckerton Elementary school in New Jersey. In 2014, he became a Google Certified Innovator at GTAUK in London. Last year he became a Skype Master Teacher as well as a Microsoft Innovative Educator. He is passionate about connecting students and teachers globally. He is also an adjunct professor at Stockton University where he teaches a digital literacy course for undergraduates that prepares them for their intended careers.
Stacey Ryan: Stacey is a middle school math teacher in Kansas. As a classroom teacher, Stacey has been recognized as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Skype Master Teacher, and Sway Champion. Her passion is facilitating real-world applications and projects to make math relevant and meaningful for her students. She wants all students to be confident in math, develop leadership skills, and collaborate effectively with one another as well as professionals who use math in their jobs.
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