Skype

Skype is a free software through which you are able to conduct phone and video calls through your computer. Computer-to-computer calls are free, regardless of the destination, making it an excellent way to communicate with people around the world. You can also call a person's telephone (cell or land-line) for a small charge. Video-based calls are particularly beneficial, but require a computer camera and a faster internet connection. To download Skype (for Mac, PC, and even iPhone/iTouch) go to www.skype.com

The Teacher et centera blog has great list of resources, tutorials, and ideas on using Skype in your classroom
Tutorpipes: 10 free videos to help you get started using Skype
Setting up your Skype account printable handout
50 Awesome Ways of using Skype in Your Classroom - Also includes tips for starting up & how to conference. Education focused.
Skype in the Classroom - Explains what Skype is, basic usage & setup, finding other classes to collaborate with
Skype Education - Connect with other schools around the world wanting. Resources also available.
Assessment of Learning via Skype - handout by Silvia Tolisano. Blog post:Comprehensive flyer Getting Started with Skype

Ideas:

  • Conduct an interview with an expert on the topic you're studying
  • Invite an author to speak - visit Skype An Author for a list of participating authors (free and cost).
  • Partake in a "Where Am I?" game, where one (or both groups) asks Yes or No questions to help determine the other group's location. Members of the class are assigned roles such as clue keepers, photographers, atlas, and more.
  • Interview a distant family member, etc. for a storytelling project
  • Hook up with a school class around the world for a virtual pen pal
    • Find out what it's like where they live, customs, etc.
  • Collaborate with a class outside your school on a project, gathering ideas, working on stories, book discussion, etc.
  • Use the Chat feature when writing a story, adding onto the plot line by line, alternating turns.
  • Hook up with a class from the foreign language you are studying. This helps kids hear native speakers with correct pronunciation.