Who better to speak to the power of using Skype in the classroom than the eLearning Contributor who developed the Skype in the Classroom and Mystery Skype training himself?
Guest Blog Post by Ron Farrow, eLearning Contributor
Skype is a video conferencing tool that is beginning to take over classrooms in transforming the way students learn. Although the tool itself is powerful, giving you the ability to see and talk with anyone around the world, it’s the resources behind the scenes and the way that teachers have embraced this technology that truly make it revolutionary.
My first experience with Skype was a Mystery Skype session. These sessions allow two classes to connect and play a game asking each other questions to figure out where in the world the other class is located. What I didn’t expect, is that the students would learn just as much about their own location from this activity as they would the other class’s location. As they were asked questions, they would have to think and discuss to be able to answer them. That opened my eyes to just how powerful this learning tool could be!
I then explored the Skype in the Classroom website and was floored at the possibilities! There are hundreds of lessons covering a wide variety of topics. Thousands of teachers, authors, guest speakers, experts in a variety of fields who are all anxious to connect, discuss, and learn. This is a tool that has been embraced by the world and enhanced to provide a platform for discovery and learning. This is a tool that you should try today! Your students will thank you for it.
Want to learn more about Skype? Check out Atomic Learning's how-to training here.
I started as a music teacher for the Farmington School District in 2002, where I taught 5th and 6th grade music as well as High School Percussion. As a music teacher, I had the opportunity to experiment with many forms of technology in the classroom including smart boards, tablets, recording studio equipment, etc. I took this passion for technology and education to the district-wide level in 2010 as part of a leadership cadre for our district, then, in 2012, I became the Educational Technology Facilitator for the district. I joined the Cape Girardeau School District in the Summer of 2013.
I believe technology is the future of education. But it's more about the change in instruction than the devices themselves. We are in a very exciting time for education! It can be scary to have such a paradigm shift in teaching. However, students now have tools to access a world of information that was previously inconceivable. Through technology, we can foster more creative learning environments, differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every student, and create productive, responsible, digital citizens for future generations.