Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Skype in the Classroom

Do you want to take your students on a field trip, but don’t have the time/money/resources to plan it? Were you hoping to use the Google Cardboard kits, but they’re already booked for when you wanted to use them? Have no fear! Skype in the Classroom is here!

Skype in the Classroom is just what it sounds like….Skype….in your Classroom. Project the Skype session for your class, and then students can take turns asking questions in front of the webcam. On the Skype in the Classroom website, there are several options of how you can use Skype to create a powerful learning experience for your students. You can take virtual field trips, meet with a guest speaker, or Mystery Skype with another classroom across the world.

Check out all the virtual field trip options! You can search by grade level, content area, language, region, or availability. Once you find a trip that you like, request the date/time (keep in mind time zone conversions if applicable), and then someone will get back to you.

A few tips….
  1. When you want to request a session, you will be prompted to login. Select Office 365, and then login with your CCSD account. If this is the first time you have logged in, set up your time zone so times will automatically convert to Mountain Time.
  2. If you teach middle or high school and want to skype with all of your periods, make sure to indicate that when you submit your request.
  3. Find a couple of virtual field trips that interest you and request all of them as far in advance as possible, just in case one doesn’t work out.
  4. Have your students prepare questions beforehand so that they can take turns on the webcam. Also, check the Skype website to see if there are lessons to supplement the field trip.
  5. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try tweeting @SkypeClassroom. They are very responsive on Twitter and will do their best to find something that works for you.

In addition to virtual field trips, Skype also has guest speakers and Mystery Skype. Mystery Skype is very similar to Mystery Hangouts, in which you arrange a Skype or Hangout session with another teacher, but your students do not know where in the world the other class is located. They have to prepare questions ahead of time and work together to solve the mystery. This could be great for geography or foreign language classes.

If you would like help in setting up Skype in the Classroom or Mystery Hangout, let us know! We would love to work with you!

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