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Skype and it's Educational Value

 Guest Speakers

Teachers, like Travis Weller, are using Skype to invite guest speakers into their classroom.  This is an effective and cost efficient way for schools to provide an enhanced learning experience for their students. He invited three accomplished composers to speak to his students. Since the speakers all had Skype, this cost him nothing. They were also able to do a video session, in which the guest speaker  was projected from an LCD projector.

Distance Learning

Mr. Crosby of Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks, Nevada, learned that he had a new fourth grade students who had leukemia and couldn't come to school because of treatment Instead of abandoning that student in her time of need, he thought of an interesting way to  teach her without having her leave her home.  Mr. Crosby uses Skype to teach Celeste from her home. While this is an exceptionally inspiring story, it shows how useful Skype can be in the classroom. This little girl now has the opportunity to attend class without actually being present in the school.


Click here to watch the video on Mr. Crosby's class.

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  1. Unknown User (akosiewi)

    Here is a really good example of how Skype can be used in a post secondary setting. This article tells about how an Ohio University student used Skype.

    International week: Technology allows for a 'multi-dimensional' approach to crisis in Darfur

    Published: Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Ashley Luthern / Staff Writer /

    When a presenter and panelist for the Sports in Africa Symposium couldn't travel to Ohio University last quarter, organizers for the event thought of another way that she could attend.

    Terri Byers could not make the event because of a timing conflict, but she was still able to take part in the conference through videoconferencing technology, said Christine Potts, an OU graduate student who took part in the symposium.

    "It would have been a loss to the conference if she had not been there," she said.

    Byers' image was taken off the screen so that others could use the computer, but her "disembodied voice" was heard in the panel discussion following her presentation.

    As part of International Week, that same technology will be used this morning at the Yamada House with a videoconference with Albaqir Mukhtar, director of the Al-Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development in Sudan. He will speak and lead a discussion about the crisis in Darfur.

    Mukhtar will use his laptop that has a built-in video camera and Skype, a free videoconferencing technology that has "very good audio" to connect with OU, said Ismail Elmahdi, associate director of African Studies for instructional technology.

    There's no charge for downloading Skype, and, according to the company's Web site, Skype-to-Skype video and voice calls are free.

    "Skype is not always stable. We're working on getting more stable links so that our vision of not only someone talking from another country, but also co-teaching with us, can be a reality," he said.

    The technology in Sudan is growing rapidly and the infrastructure is in place for videoconferencing, Elmahdi said.

    Sudan started later than the United States with technological upgrades, so they have skipped the improvements that the United States must make and instead are starting with better technology, he said.

    "I was in the middle of a market in Sudan with a young relative of mine and wanted to check my e-mail. He pulled out a handheld computer and got service to go online with it right then. There's wireless everywhere," Elmahdi said.

    The biggest hindrance with this type of technology at OU is the bandwidth capabilities on campus, he said.

    The videoconference is not the only way that the African Studies department is incorporating technology. The African Languages Program has used YouTube and Google Earth to create a multi-dimensional language experience.

    The online program, known as the African Language tour, allows Internet users to click on a city and country where a particular African language is spoken. A YouTube video then appears with an OU student greeting the user in that language and providing information about their language learning experience at OU.

    From Swahili in Nairobi to Akan in Accra, OU students can put their African language skills into a cultural context.

    "We use the virtual world so that students know where they are with their language. Using Google Earth, they can see other photos of the area, not just the video from a peer," said Elmahdi.

    Students who were filmed for the language tour were volunteers, and because there is no fee for uploading a video to YouTube or for downloading Google Earth, the program has cost the university nothing.

    "Now we are going to upload Africa because they have things that they want to show the world. Instead of Africa getting knowledge from us, we will get the knowledge from them," he said.

  2. Unknown User (akosiewi)

    Inclusion — helping a classmate join the classroom from home

    By Function isSkypeInstalled() on error resume next Set oSkype = CreateObject("Skype.Detection") isSkypeInstalled = IsObject(oSkype) Set oSkype = nothing End Function Jaanus on April 26, 2007 in Skype around the world.
    Here's an interesting and hopefully inspiring use of Skype in education. (Thanks to the one who sent me the email ) This time, it doesn't come from a university -- instead, it comes from K-12 where we have seen many similar great stories and a lot of innovation happens. I'm not even ten years out of high school, but I'm already feeling old here. (And I've always been wondering what's this "K-12" thing. With K meaning "kindergarten", it's nothing more than simply a shortcut for referring to the whole education system from kindergarten up to the 12th grade in the US. I guess you could also call it "everything before college". So no further magic.)

    Anyway, through the [Infinite Thinking Machine]( and [Learning is Messy]( blogs, we travel to Agnes Risley Elementary School in Sparks, Nevada.

    > After learning of a new, homebound 4th grade student in his class who has leukemia, Mr. Crosby found the resources to connect the student to her classroom from home using Internet connected computers, webcams, and Skype.

    Photo reposted from"Learning is messy"

    Just [watch the video]( produced by the 4th graders. There's not much that I can add here.

  3. Unknown User (akosiewi)