Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cool Website Spotlight -- Skype in the Classroom

Skype in the Classroom is an extension of the popular mainstream internet based communication tool. Currently nearly 50,000 teachers and 2,400 lessons are available on Skype and with a little something for all content areas. Collaborations can connect a classroom from St. Louis to Hong Kong with little effort. A testimonial of third grade teacher shares who she has brought her classroom to China, Italy, New Zealand, Brazil, England, Albania, Israel and India with a few clicks and messages between international teachers. Famous people from the Secretary of State to famed basketball player Shaquille O’Neal have also taken part in Skype in the Classroom lessons.

In addition their catalogue of teaching resources, teachers can arrange “Mystery Skypes” with a classroom around the world. Through interacting, asking and answering questions students are asked to figure out where in the world they are and learn about another culture.

How would I use this in the math classroom? There is a wonderful collection of resources for each content area. With more careful exploration, perhaps I can find a lesson that fits into what I'm doing. The idea of connecting with a "sister" classroom across the world that is doing similar things is also very intriguing and can better connect students to the world around them!

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