Good news for teachers looking to collaborate with their colleagues in other parts of the world. Skype has a new free service just for educators called Skype in the classroom, “a free global community created in response to, and in consultation with, the growing number of teachers” using the tool to help students learn.
Teachers already access the eight-year-old service for joint projects, global language exchanges, and guest lectures, but have had a hard time using it to find like-minded collaborators. Skype in the classroom solves that challenge by letting a teacher specify what grade or subject she teaches, and what kinds of projects she’s interested in working on together, when she first sets up a profile.
Last December Missouri fifth grade teacher Kara Cornejo became one of the first beta testers of the tool. When Cornejo set up her profile, she indicated she “wanted to do a weather around the world unit.” A one-minute search of other testers led her to another educator looking to collaborate on the same unit. By the end of the first day, five additional teachers had reached out to her.
The service already has almost 7,000 users, and Skype is looking for additional feedback on how to keep making the tool even better. They’re also looking for tips, articles, links and success stories that can be added to their library of inspirational resources and ideas. They’ve already received classroom videos
Introducing Skype in the classroom
Skype in the classroom is a free community to help teachers everywhere use Skype to help their students learn. It’s a place for teachers to connect with each other, find partner classes and share inspiration. This is a global initiative that was created in response to the growing number of teachers using Skype in their classrooms
Collaborate on projects
Projects are a way for teachers to find partner classes, partner teachers or guest speakers for a specific learning activity. You can create your own project or find one where your help is needed.
Connect with other teachers
Use the directory to find like-minded teachers all over the world. You can search by keyword or explore the directory by ages taught, a teacher’s location, or subjects of interest.
Discover new teaching inspiration
The resource section of Skype in the classroom is stacked with videos, links and tips. Add resources of your own or favourite the ones you like best to create a huge, shareable library of teaching ideas.