Using Skype to break down classroom walls

skype[1]We have found Skype to be a brilliant way to break down classroom walls and help our children to experience more than they would normally be able to. There are many positive uses for Skype within learning, but a couple we have found brilliant have been…


 

Skype Classroom

Skype Classroom is a way to connect a group of children with an expert somewhere else in the world. We’ve used it to connect with two experts so far…

Sharks4Kids

As part of our Deadly60 topic, children in Foundation and Key Stage 1 took part in a Skype Classroom call with @Sharks4Kids from Florida

Crane Class blogged about the experience here.

Betty Birney

Seizing an offer from Betty Birney (author of The World According To Humphrey series of books) to host Skype Classrooms. She spoke with Heron Class about her experience of being an author, her inspirations for writing, and how the children could think about life as a writer.

 


Mystery Skype

Mystery Skype is like an online game of ‘Guess Who’! By asking closed ‘Yes/No’ questions of the other class, you need to work out where in the world they are. We arranged the connections through the Mystery Skype website and on Twitter, which was sometimes tricky to negotiate time zones!

We’ve run a number of Mystery Skype sessions with Kingfisher Class. The first of these we blogged about here. We’ve connected with classes in Australia, Mexico and Greece.

As a teacher, getting children to understand the context of geography is really difficult. Many of our children don’t go abroad and have no points of reference for where different things are in the world. Before doing these Mystery Skype sessions, our children would never have seen a real purpose in knowing the vocabulary of how to describe different features.

For example they would never had known what a hemisphere is, how to describe the positions relating to north/south/east/west, identifying different mountains and lakes, etc. The competitive racing element of Mystery Skype meant that they were hugely motivated to get to the answer before the other class!

Mr Lathia, Kingfisher Class Teacher

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