You’ve probably already heard of Skype or used it. What is it? first important thing to know, it is free. Skype, as mentionned on their about section, allows you to communicate with people through video, voice and texts. It is just like calling someone but you can see the person and it’s free! You may need to buy a webcam or something to use it but most laptops have all it takes already integrated nowadays!
Now, how could this tool be integrated in a classroom? Well, it can easily be used in class. as mentionned on this website, if the teacher, for any reason, cannot make it to class, he or she could still teach through Skype. I know you will tell me it’s weird and is not as efficient as a real class but it is still better than no class at all or than a subteacher who has no idea what he is doing.
Also, there are a lot of other ways to use Skype for class. Students can easily use it to communicate with each other for a team project, they can discuss together through Skype, it is free and it allows them to see each other if they want to share some visual content or anything! The teacher can also use it to communicate with his or her students. For example, as a student I know I sometimes want to meet my teachers but they are not always available or maybe they are not at school the day I am available, etc. Skype is, in this case, a great solution to meet your teacher if your schedules don’t match.
I also remember that when I was younger, in elementary school, we used to correspond with students from other schools. We sent letters to each other and met during the year. Skype would be an awesome way to communicate with these correspondent! It would also be an awesome way to correspond with people from other countries to learn a second language.
Another thing that comes to my mind when I think of ways of using Skype in the classroom is to make oral presentations. Indeed, the teacher and student could skype together instead of presenting in front of the class. The student would probably be more comfortable to present in front of his or her computer than to present in front of a class.
I could go on for hours talking about ways to use Skype as a tool for education. Several websites suggest useful ways to use Skype in class, just like this one, and this one. Furthermore, Skype itself as a page dedicated to education. Skype keeps improving and is easy to use, there are no reasons why teacher shouldn’t take advantage of it!