Jessica Johnson-Wallace, Drew Coleman & Anita Pintimalli



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Description of technology

Skype is the most popular voice communication in the world with currently more than 350 million registered users (Unuth, 2012). Skype makes speaking to others easy and most of all affordable. Using Skype to call internationally means not having to worry about how expensive your phone bill will be or when your phone voucher will run out. It also provides the extra convenience of being able to see the person you are talking to just by having a webcam.

You can use Skype not only on a computer but a phone or even a television (Skype, 2012). Skype is affordable because you can make unlimited and totally free calls to anyone anywhere at any time on the condition that the person is using Skype too. This means the person you would like to contact would have to have to be online for you to call them. If there was someone you wanted to contact but they don't have Skype you are still able to use this Web 2.0 technology to call them. Either local or international calls can be made to landline and mobile phones and in return through Skype you are able to receive calls from these phones to your Skype account. This is a great option although it isn't free but is much more reasonably priced than using a traditional landline or mobile to make international calls. This is called Skyping Out and Skyping In (Unuth, 2012). Once you pay more you can use Skype for not only phone calls but also to access WiFi or send text (Skype, 2012). Skype is so popular globally due to the fact that it can be used for several things such as long distance meetings with family and friends; business calls; cheap calling through travel; socialising and what we have focused on specifically within the classroom environment.

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Strengths of technology
  • Skype can be used on multiple applications such as:
-iPad
-iPhone
-Windows
-Mac
-Android
  • Not having to be within the room same room as other people
  • Instantaneous communication
  • Quick easy sign up, no complicated forms you need to become a member
  • Designated support system - Skype has its own help system, and they are prompt in providing assistance and feedback
  • Free version allows for peer-to-peer video calling, and group audio calling and chat
  • Skype "Premium" allows for group video calling, as well as landline and mobile calling capabilities (at a small fee)
  • Privacy - You can't chat or call someone who you haven't accepted as a friend first

Limitations of Technology
  • Premium version requires purchasing
  • Peer-to-peer means that unless both parties have Skype, you can not communicate with anyone
  • Privacy - There is always the possibility of someone obtaining your email and adding you on Skype who you do not know
  • Network issues - (possibly just RMIT as there have been no other issues in this area) - Computer Lab desktops are unable to communicate with other desktops, but can communicate with the teacher computer and any hardware with the Skype application installed

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Examples of classroom applications
  • Teachers conferencing with each other
  • Presenting to other classes
  • talking to children from other schools
  • discovering different types of communication tools
  • guest lecturers (video calls)
  • Learning walk
  • Communicating with children who are away (holiday, sickness, etc.)



Professional use of the application by school educators and administrators

  • Free versions of the software can be used to communicate between other Skype users
  • This allows for instantaneous communication between staff members, community members or even staff members of other schools within Australia and around the world
  • Skype credits can be purchased and Skype can be used to replace landlines/mobile phones
  • Skype credits can be used to send text messages to other mobile phones
  • Staff can sign students up, and have a means of communicating with students who are not at school
  • Schools can use Skype to assist with learning walks, teachers can be communicating via Skype while moving around the school discussing what they can see
  • Group conferencing, the ability to talk to multiple people at once using the free version, or group video calls with the premium version

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Links to relevant resources that help to expand our knowledge about this application and its use in school classrooms

  • Link to the Skype homepage - This is where you can find basic tutorials about how to use Skype, and step by step instructions about how to download and install Skype on your home computer or laptop
http://www.skype.com/intl/en/home

  • Website to connect with other classrooms- This is a good link to help connect teachers and classrooms around the world. Teachers write where they are from and what they would like to Skype about and you can request to Skype with them.
http://skypeintheclassroom.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/lets-build-a-community/#comments

  • 50 awesome ways to use skype in the classroom. This website demonstrates how you can take advantage of the power of Skype within your classroom.
www.teachingdegree.org/2009/06/30/50-awesome-ways-to-use-skype-in-the-classroom/

  • Skype in the classroom is a free global community that invites teachers to collaborate on classroom projects where they might use Skype, and share skills and inspiration around specific teaching needs.
http://education.skype.com/


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Example of Skype effectively being used in a classroom










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PD Plan



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Examples of Skype integrated in the classroom environment








Description:

This video shows how a primary school in America has used Skype to help teach history to primary school aged kids. Within history lessons students are skyping residents of the local nursing home and listening to first hand experiences of what it was like during the war, through different generations and all the experiences they have had.







Description:

This video features a teacher from America skyping a classroom in South Korea where her colleague has moved to. The children have been able to talk to each and see what it is like for each other in different schools in different countries. They are writing letters to each other and showing each other when they are receiving them and teaching each other songs and practicing public speaking which is always a great skill to work on.



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Example of how to teach Skype in your classroom

Using Skype in the classroom
  1. Videoconferencing in the Classroom with Skype. You can video conference with an author of a book that the students have read.
  2. Video tours of museums or land marks.
  3. Field trips. If students aren’t able to participate in a field trip due to factors such as budgetary or distance constraints, use Skype to bring the field trip into the classroom.
  4. Using Skype in the languages classroom. Help students study foreign languages from native speakers.
  5. After school help. Use Skype as a tool to provide after school help to students needing extra attention. Tutors, teachers, or librarians can be available at set times in the afternoons for student access.
  6. Interviews. Whether you have students conducting interviews or your class is interviewed, Skype facilitates the interview process. Individual students can interview other teachers or school staff, sending the Skype feed to the classroom for all to watch.
  7. Helping a classmate join the classroom from home. If there is a student who is unable to attend school they can join the classroom through Skype.
  8. Connect special needs students. Students who may have to be out of the classroom due to special needs or IEP requirements don’t have to miss any special events in the classroom with Skype.
  9. Foreign culture lessons. Skype allows students to see firsthand what people’s homes, schools, clothing, weather, and more looks like. If a festival takes place, Skype can bring it to your classroom too.
  10. Skype a class in a different time zone. With Skype, the students got to work at the same time and actually see each other, too.
  11. Present a performance. Whether your class puts on a play, demonstrates a science experiment, or presents the results of a class project, share the fruits of their works with other classes, parents, or other interested people.
  12. Share field trips with others. If your class goes out for a field trip, see about connecting with parents or other classes to share your classes’ experience.
Skype ideas for teachers
  1. Professional development. Teachers can use Skype to access professional development opportunities, such as watching conference presentations.
  2. Share students’ work with parents. Let parents get a first-hand look at what their children are doing with Skype.
  3. Conference with parents. Whether a parent has to miss a regular conference or a concern comes up that requires speaking with a parent, Skype can provide an opportunity to connect with a parent that may not otherwise be available for a conference.
  4. Collaborate with other teachers. Who says Skype has to be fun just for the kids? With Skype, teachers can collaborate on ideas, projects, and more.
  5. Receive teaching feedback. Have an experienced or mentor teacher watch you teach via Skype and receive valuable feedback.

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Feedback
We have created a survey via 'Survey Monkey' which requires our audience to complete a set of questions regarding our presentation. The feedback receieved will help us to reflect on our presentation and dicuss where we could have made changes.
Please complete our survery below:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LZRKW7D

Thank you! :)

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Reference List
Skype. (2012.)About Skype.Retrieved on March 25th 2012 from http://about.skype.com

Unuth, N. (2012.) What is Skype? An Introduction to The Most Popular VoIP Software and Service. Retrieved on March 24th from http://voip.about.com/od/voipsoftware/a/whatisskype.htm.


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