Skype

external image skype_logo.png


Information


Description:


Skype is a FREE advanced instant messaging program that runs on both Mac and PC computers. You have the ability to text chat, voice chat and place video calls.

  • Click here to view a short video on 'What is Skype?'.



Problem


In my district, We block Skype (and other great web 2.0 tools) from teachers and students. Our technicians see skype as a threat to our network. I have read blogs and sites that support this theory. How do we win this battle? How are some schools allowing Skype to work? Please tell us your thoughts? List any websites or resources to help support this issue. The more people we can get on it the better. Please forward this conversation on to as many people as possible as this is such as great learning tool most schools miss out on.

  • click here to check out a direct discussion with Skype Engineers on this topic.


Site

  • click here to visit the Skype site. <Do not attack your tech staff if Skype is blocked! Remember, we need everyone to work together.>
  • click here to check out a wiki dedicated to Skype in Education.



How Tos


  • Click here to watch a Skype screencast.
  • Click here to learn how to record the audio of a Skype call.
  • Mikogo is a plug-in that allows you to use Skype as a virtual classroom.
  • click here for Call Graph plug-ins for Skype.
  • Click here for one step by step guide on how to record a video call using Skype on a Mac with Snow Leopard.



Why Is Skype a Network Nightmare?

Here is a good description of the network problems with Skype: Gigaom Website (discussions at his site date to 2004).
Some people argue that some of Skype's features present a security risk. Skype has answered these in an open letter to universities HERE



Best Practices



Skype is an invaluable tool for teachers. When a teacher has a question and wants to draw on his or her "network," he or she has several options. I have used email, but I must select my recipients, hope one of them knows the answer, and hope that someone will return an answer promptly. I have called colleagues directly via land lines or cell, but I have been reluctant to cold call someone who might be teaching at the moment. Enter Skype. I can see who is online and available. A quick message in the chat can ask "Are you available for a quick question?" I have used Skype to share information efficiently.

Skype is also a terrific tool for collaboration. Group chats allow users to connect to a wider network without the need for travel. The conversation in a group chat often triggers personal professional development. I have gathered many ideas from listening to my network in Skype. Sometimes the general discussion spurs a fruitful side conversation in another window.

Further, our students are setting the pace for communication -- many report that email is now "old school" -- too slow and lacking immediacy. As we develop best practices for making education relevant and timely, we will continue to adopt new tools, even in the face of skepticism.


Examples


Skype Widget


Very powerful:
http://learningismessy.com/blog/?p=414

Presentation(s):
http://petecskypeme.pbwiki.com/



Problems



Solutions

http://www.skype.com/security/universities/
http://share.skype.com/sites/security/



Screen Shots

skype.jpg



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