Skype just created a forum for teachers to connect to each other and share resources!
I’ve had a chance to join and look around Skype in the Classroom and this is a great resource/tool for us to provide great opportunities for students AND to share resources with other teachers.
If you don’t have a Skype account already, you can create one at the link above. It’s a simple registration process and should only take minutes.
The great thing here is going through the directory and finding teachers/classrooms you’d like to connect to. When I last looked there were close to 900 educators from all corners of the US and stretching to Thailand – there is something there for every class and purpose.
Putting in a minimum amount of planning for this experience can realize tremendous gains:
- Set up your Skype account – Load up your picture and give a good description of your class and what you’re looking for;
- Check your equipment – Built in/external webcams, wireless/wired connections, mics, lighting, etc;
- Determine what your learning outcomes are before you make contact – Its ok if you don’t have it fully mapped, your collaborative partner may even appreciate the opportunity to help you develop some learning objectives. The main point here is to go into this with a plan other than just calling another class to wave;
- Make this experience student centered – As cool as it is going to be for you to do the talking, please remember that kids learn by doing;
- SHARE OUT YOUR SUCCESSFUL COLLABORTATIVE EXPERIENCE – Twitter it, Blog it, email it – whatever! Let others see how easy it can be and how much learning and enjoyment kids can get from it.
I’m determined to help the teachers in my building create some collaborative partnerships and to Skype out to several educators as well.
See you out there!