Sunday, January 3, 2010

My #1 Tool for the Classroom

If I had to recommend one tool to begin with in the classroom, it would most certainly be Skype. Skype is a free videoconferencing software that is easy to install and use. Last year, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a project started by Silvia Tolisano in which willing schools were put in contact with one another to arrange Skype conversations for their students. My students came to school early and stayed late many times in order to communicate with students across the globe. We spoke with children in Thailand, Spain, Australia, and even students here in the U.S. They were awed by the experience every time. Another great way to find educators willing to communicate via Skype is through a Ning like Classroom 2.0. I also stumbled across a great blog outlining 50 ways to use Skype in the classroom. Please share your success! How has Skype impacted your classroom?


  1. I am still trying to get Skype unblocked at our school. Right now we have access to absolutely every other social networking tool except for Skype. I long for the collaboration it brings to the classroom and the ability to bring authors into the classroom. For now I am using it for my own learning from home. Someday I hope to be able to introduce it to my students!

  2. My experience was a bit different. With the H1N1 concern an 8th grade student of mine had to miss 4 months of school because he had a disability that weakened his immune system. We used Skype almost every day to allow to not only stay up with his academics but also to stay connected with classmates. It was an amazing experience, not only for him but for those still in the classroom.

  3. I too am having trouble getting Skype on our school network. I was able to get a children's author to agree to a free interview but had to move it out of our county, at the last minute, as our IT could not get Skype working on our network. It was so sad to take this great educational opportunity out of our county. That was the very beginning of this school year and Skype is still not working on our network.
    You can see a video about our interview at It's on, also but I can never get Teacher Tube to run!?.