Why I love skype!

When I suggested my top ten web2.0 sites for 2007, skype was one of them. I had experienced using this software with my two sons who live in London and have since used it at school for videoconferencing purposes with NZ Chrissy and Gail Casey when she was teaching ESL in Korea. Whilst it was snowing in Korea, we had some sound difficulties but skype are working on improving sound quality all the time.

Since then I have used it for

  • discussion purposes with teachers on collaborative global projects
  • professional development (Quest Atlantis uses this)
  • interviews and surveys – both staff and students
  • involving teachers from other countries teaching my classes etc.
  • sharing advice, clarifying issues etc
  • guest speakers for night classes
  • live demonstrations for parent information sessions
  • conference calls
  • See what allanahk, a primary school teacher in NZ has achieved with video skype chats.

 Here are 10 facts you may need to know:-

  1. Skype is VOIP (voice over internet protocol) and its use is free if it is calls are made computer to computer.
  2. Equipment: skype  software (download from www.skype.com) , headset with microphone, or desktop mic, a webcamera (for videoconferencing), IWB or datashow for projecting the video (if for classroom use), user names (equivalent of phone numbers) of contact people
  3. User friendly, quick loading (sometimes falls over but getting more reliable all the time)
  4. Neat search facility to add other users to contact list
  5. Chat or audio can take place. It is polite to send a request message via chat first, to ensure that person you are contacting is not in class or otherwise engaged. (My laptop has embarrassed me on several occasions by ringing, in class)
  6. Conference calls: both audio and chat. Currently, videoconferencing can only be used between two users. The video aspect cuts out after a third person enters the conversation.
  7. Chats can be saved with appropriate title, by bookmarking. Goto chats>bookmarked chats and enter a title whilst in skype conversation) or goto recent chats and it tends to save automatically, but with a non categorised title.
  8. Can buy credit to ring landlines locally, domestically, overseas (extremely cheap overseas calls)
  9. Constantly requesting feedback as to quality of calls, and working on improving the service. (Sometimes line quality is not high, delays but these are getting less over time.)
  10. Number of users is restricted to, I think, 10 and then a bridge phone number must be given.

Hint: If using it for the first time, experiment with a friend or colleague after work hours, to ensure you know how it works before trying it in a 3way (or more) chat or videoconference setting.


Another interesting post on “Why I love skype!”


3 responses to “Why I love skype!

  1. I heard an interview once with the guy who made Skype- he was asked how he paid for it. He said it was worked out by market share- if even 10% of users pay for Skype to landlines and you have millions of users it all works out.

    I use the Skype txt to landlines as I can type faster than I can txt. And now with my new iSite camera I need to buy a nice background poster or have my lounge remodelled as I can now video Skype.

  2. Wow! Allanah That sounds great. You are really using all the features it can offer. My son in London has a new mobile phone and can use skype on that. I shall follow you closely as you use the video Skype. I hope we can work together using skype and your teacher pd sessions soon. Let me know when. How do you find its sound quality? I am sure their market share must be increasing. In Australia, we use Telstra for our landline but when our service was cut for a week, we were able to keep in contact with my family (we dont have mobile phone service on our farm) using a paid skype account. Can you tell me more about the iskype camera and where were y0u able to purchase it from?

  3. Pingback: technoLOTE » Blog Archive » Delicious and Skype - Getting Social Online!

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