Tag Archives: students

Skype in the Classroom

Skype has changed the way I communicate with my family (who lives in Brazil). When I was dating my wife long-distance, in between international trips to see each other, we communicated via instant messaging (Yahoo! Messenger), email, and expensive phone cards. That was mid-2000s, video chat wasn’t available, let alone video chat via mobile devices! Fast forward to 2010, and now Skype offers video calls on the iPhone: and since I’ve been living in the U.S. for years, I can not only talk to my family in Brazil for free but also show them where I live!

Now Skype aims at changing the way the classroom sees the world and interacts with it too.

Skype in the Classroom is a project that wants to connect teachers and students with professionals out there for live video conferencing sessions. It provides an online community that allows teachers to share projects and find people that want to contribute to them. Skype has also partnered with organizations to provide expertise, be it in the form of a quick Q&A with an expert at a certain field, tagging along a professional doing their job, or having an author perform a book reading for students.

Skype in the Classroom also has a Resources section where teachers can share materials and articles to support lessons in a variety of topics. Content, can be searched and filtered by Age Group, Language, Country, and  Category.

Projects can be searched and filtered by age group, language, type of expertise, and category.

This is a great idea to expand the students’ world beyond the walls of the classroom by using a free tool!

Essential iPhone Apps for Students and Educators

MacWorld published the “Ten Essential Back to School iPhone Apps”. While they chose very good apps, they might have left out a few other interesting apps as well. A possible improvement on the “top X apps for students” post idea would be to have different school levels (Pre-school, Middle School, High School, Higher Ed., etc.)  AND different subjects in subcategories (General Apps, History, Math, Politics, Books, etc.) as well and list the apps that pertain to those categories only. This process would probably make it even more useful for students’ specific needs.

I still think that Education iPhone apps have to do a lot of catching-up to do in order to achieve the same level of excellence of other apps such as the games we now see on the iPhone.

However, there are some other good apps out there for Education such as the “100 Words Series” to help you sound smart in that test or paper. The iPhone seems to be a good platform for word lists and dictionaries, thesaurus-like lists, etc. (even Dictionary.com has their own apps).

For Educators, check out this list of “Top 50 Apps for Educators” from the Online Education Database.

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