Category Archives: skype

Skype in the Classroom

This was a topic for a 30 minute presentation that I made to Sheldon College, in Brisbane, Queensland, 1883 kms from me.

The presentation was made using skype and covered how to use skype, find contacts, advanced features and sample classroom uses including virtual guest speakers/experts, global connections, cultural experiences, virtual tours etc . Here is what was done:

  1. intitial contact made using emails
  2. test of skype connection earlier in the day between the school and me
  3. a quick run through of the proposed session with Vanessa the co-ordinator of the Professional Development Day to ensure it met their objectives and needs
  4. a back channel set up in todays meet for participants to introduce themselves (and for me to have some idea about the interests and needs of the audience)
  5. Chat messages to alert me to when they were ready for the presentation.
  6. Cabled my laptop in for best bandwidth
  7. Videoconference call made at the appointed time for the session
  8. Webcamera introduction
  9. Screen share from my end allowed me to share the powerpoint presentation with the remote location.

Below is the presentation made:-

https://docs.com/d/embed/D25193928-4011-7935-3820-000397619509%7eM9dcb2cf0-75c2-fd54-cc0d-4cb4b9b90919

This took approximately 30 mins. Sound, video and audio were all good. The presentation was uploaded into docs.com for sharing and the link emailed through.

Student Learning – MS Skypeathon with Anthony Salcito

Many people ask why they should bother using skype or videoconferencing in the classroom. What do students actually learn?

Some year 7 and 8 students were involved in the recent 24 hour skypeathon with Anthony Salcito. As part of this skype, each class was asked to pose a question of the next global class that Anthony was to connect with. Sri Lanka was straight after us, so students asked them “what was their favourite food and pastime?” The response came back in a tweet from Anthony:-

Immediately, we were learning about different foods and hobbies as singing is not high on our list. Below are some of the responses from the girls, when queried about what:-

  •  they enjoyed in the skype linkup
  •  they learnt.

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sharing flags

Sophie: The best part was telling Anthony about what we have in Australia. I liked being able to interact with another country. I liked the whole thing and learning everything about it. I like being able to talk to the person far away from here which is much better than reading a textbook. They don’t know about Australia and I can teach them something.

Santa pays a visit

Santa pays a visit

Brooke (who played the role of Santa complete with costume and gift): I loved being Santa because I wanted to show different people what Santa does and how he looks as people are normally asleep when he is at work. I also liked Anthony talking about his hobbies – rugby. I liked him describing the US flag – like all the stars. I didn’t know what the US flag looked like till then. I like meeting new people around the globe and seeing their faces and best of all it helps me build confidence around other people.

Abbey: My favourite part was when Anthony talked about the different types of farm animals that they had to us – wineries, apples, grapes, chicken farms. We have sheep, cattle and dairy in our area. We got to talk about our country and find about their country – the similarities and differences. I liked it when Terri showed him the vegemite, Anthony hadn’t tried it. They cant find Cadbury Marvellous Creations in USA. We have it everywhere here.

Wool from the sheep farm

Wool from the sheep farm

Kiara: I enjoyed the skype linkup as it is fun seeing people from other countries and what they have to show us. It tells us more about other countries and what life is like there. It helps me make up my mind whether I want to go there. It also helps me to talk better in front of other people.

the blue tongued lizards on the kinder girls

Sophie:  My  favourite part was me being able to speak to Anthony. I liked the lizards best as they kept showing their blue tongues. I liked learning that lollies are not called that, they are called candy.  I could see what Anthony was like, how he looked and how he spoke and could work out whether I liked him. I liked him because he was so nice and interested in what we had to say
from aus to usa

 

Terri: It was really fun because we got to speak to people who live in the USA and ask them all kinds of questions. We got to show them all sorts of things from Australia so they get to know us as well. I learnt that lots of people grow up in completely environments to us, they don’t see animals everyday like we do eg blue tongue lizards, farm animals etc

Vesna:- “I enjoyed it because we were able to connect very clearly  and speak and understand the audio. It was good to be able to setup the gifts and interact with other people so we could make it eventful and engaging for both Anthony, Leigh and for us. We could change it on ‘the fly’ for Anthony so it wasn’t boring hearing the same questions, playing the same role.  He thought it would be normal questioning and answering from us but we had pre-organised props so he could learn more about us and make it interesting for him. I learn to speak clearly and slowly and can add another country to the  list of virtual visits I have made.”

Jess: I enjoyed it because I liked being a part of their challenge to try to reach a million miles. I like a challenge. I learnt to help people out and how to do that.

A gift of Tim Tams

A gift of Tim Tams

Bethany:  I liked it because I loved Anthony’s accent like “Wow look at those candies (lollies), getting spoilt!” I was impressed talking to someone from another country.

Megan: My favourite part was knowing how many miles we have gone, (we talk kms). I liked Anthony opening up the presents and telling us about the US flag.


the class with santa

Celebrate Learning without Borders – results of a 2 day Skypeathon!

Celebrate Learning without Borders was a 2 day Skypethon event organised by Skype. During these two days, teachers and classes were encouraged to connect with others locally and globally. Students in our school were given the opportunity to connect with Anthony Salcito, who is Vice President of Education globally for Microsoft. See the video created to share snippets.

Anthony called into 33 classrooms non-stop on December 3rd, starting at 4pm in Seattle with a call to Auckland, New Zealand, and finishing with a classroom in Microsoft’s backyard, Bellevue Washington. During the 24 hours he called into classrooms in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea, Sri Lanka, Egypt, India, South Africa, Kenya, Macedonia, Norway, Austria, Russia, Ireland, UK, Finland, Canada, Argentina, Puerto Rico and the USA.

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As our school is nearing the end of the year, classes were mixed and we were able to connect directly with Anthony Salcito and Redfields School, in India. But another post will cover this. Did you participate in the skypeathon? What were your experiences in learning?

Join the global Skypeathon Dec 3 and 4

the girls1.jpg

Skype has always been one of my favourite tools as it is user friendly, capable of being used across all cultures and countries, is free and it just works! It works both at school and at home on our often poorer bandwidth.

Skype are encouraging educators across the world to get involved in a 2 day skypeathon to celebrate learning across borders on Dec 3rd and 4th. They hope to travel 1 million virtual miles in that time and encourage classrooms to get connected and enjoy the learning that can come by being connected.

Our first connection will be with Anthony Salcito, vice president of World Wide Education at Microsoft in Washington, USA. This will be at our lunchtime tomorrow Dec 3rd but Anthony will still be enjoying Dec 2nd. We hope to share objects and images that reflect the Australian culture and the place where we live. This will add 10,180 miles to the 1 million miles tally!

@SkypeClassroom tweeted:

 

Are you taking part in this? Who are you connecting with? Simply tweet your connections with the hashtag #skypeathon and the miles will be added.

Talk of the School!

china todayTalk of the School …. but, no, not our school, Hawkesdale P12 College in Australia,  but Yeh Wah International Education School of Yantai, Shandong. Following is a comment within an email from David Deeds, a teacher at this school,  after an exciting Skype linkup.

Paul (Chinese computer teacher) and students had a great face-to-face Monday.  It’s the talk of the school.😉

Two classes are combined

Two classes are combined

After several test linkups between teachers, using skype, and finding that it was not always stable and bandwidth not always reliable, it was decided to connect our year 7 students with a combined year 7 class in Yeh Wah International Education School. Their students are predominantly Chinese with some Korean, Japanese and other Asian students.

some of the girls in the class

some of the girls in the class

In the past, China has been one of the most difficult of countries to directly connect with, so it was with some nervousness that the video call was made. Problems with my laptop, the need to restart it etc meant that all the pre-setup of audio and video was lost. This took some minutes to rectify but once the Chinese students could see us, there were  the sounds of great excitement and interest amongst the Chinese students. This excitement was a little difficult to contain at times and made hearing and listening challenging at times.

How the 45 minute connection looked:-

  • our students  introduced themselves with both their Chinese and English names using printouts to display to the webcam.
  • several Chinese students introduced themselves. Much to the delight of Jess in my class, there was a Jessica in the Chinese class.
  • We showed a lamington (cake), vegemite, aussie rules footy, cricket and basketball. Emerson showed a picture of a horse as she loves horse riding.
    phone use showing vegemite
  • They showed us some of their current magazines, including their games magazines
    timeout
  • Immediately, one of my boys went to the staff room, grabbed a newspaper and showed it.
  • After Emerson showed her picture of the horse, one of the Chinese girls brought her phone to the camera and showed us her pet dog. We asked how many in their class had dogs and only she had one. Everyone in my class had a pet dog. However many on both sides had a cat for a pet. Immediately, one of the Chinese girls shared a pic of her dog using her mobile phone.

    Showing a pet dog

    Showing a pet dog

  • They wanted to know what we do in our spare time.
  • We wanted to know how many students were in their class – 16 boys and 19 girls.

the time

To finish the class, we took a selfie for the records.

Three class selfie

Three class selfie

No formal structure had been planned for the connection, but each country had some objects to share and show and my students had printed their names on an A4 sheet of paper in both English and Pinyin. However it worked remarkably well. There was lively chatter at times due to the excitement. Students made the most of spontaneous learning by showing pics on their mobile phones to share over the webcamera.

Following are some of the responses from students re “Why they enjoyed the skype linkup!”

Tim: I think that it is a good way to learn about China because they live in China and they can also speak English so we can ask them questions. It was cool to talk to people from far away in a different time zone.

Abbey: I enjoy it because we get to talk to the country (and language) that we learn about at school.

Clem: i enjoyed the skype with china it was some times hard to understand them but it was fun

Emmerson:I enjoyed this session because we got to link up with kids the same age as us and they lived in a different country. I think this is a good way to learn about China because we get to learn new facts about the country from people that live in china.

Georja: I really enjoyed our link up and hope to do it again because it was good as we also learn Chinese at our school.

Jess: My favourite part of the link up was learning that there was another Jess in that year seven class.

Jack: the session was fun because we got to learn about their school and their lifestyle. it is a good way to learn about china because they can tell us in person if it is right or wrong.

I learned that all of the class have phones and not very many of them have pets which I find odd bacause everybody in my class have at least one pet.

Milla: I really enjoyed the link up because it was really interesting to see the difference between them and us eg the technology. They had macbooks and  everyone had a mobile phone. Some had iPads. Yet, we also had similarities eg magazines, pets, liked playing video games.

Read student blog posts summarizing the learning

Tim Skype with China

EmmersonThe linkup with China

Jess Link Up in China

Georja Linkup

A snip of Vijaydashami Celebration in Kerala India

women1

A skype text message was sent by my esteemed colleague, Sebastian Panakal from Kerala, India asking whether I had time to connect over skype. On answering the video call, I was transported into a room where I could hear women singing.

sebastian croppped

Sebastian turned the webcam so that I could watch Women of the Wiki taking part in an initiation into the world of music as part of Vijaydashami, an important Hindu event  and an auspicious occasion for the Indian people.

Upon hanging up on the skype call, I checked my group messages to read a post on using Sway and Skype in the classroom involving another special friend, Stacey Ryan. This article mentioned the new snip. The snipping tool for windows machines has been one of my most used tools but now it has got better and allows recordings and screencastings, embedding and other ways of sharing. See my first attempt at a snip by clicking on this link,  using one of the pics I took when virtually in India.

Mystery Skype OneNote Book – a great free resource

Vesna and student

A Mystery Skype OneNote Book has been released full of resources, advice and tutorials and it is free.  You can read my blog post on Learning Adventures with Mystery Skype. There is something for everyone – both newbies and experienced. It includes video tutorials, tips, time zone convertors and advice on using the Bing Maps app to record where you and your students or class have skyped and best of all it is free. If you have MS Office 365 you can also get student NoteBooks all set up with proformas for your class to record, reflect and evaluate. This can develop into a great digital portfolio for them and is fully customizable.

Download the Mystery Skype Note book or if you live in the USA, you can text a message “mysteryskype” (without the talking marks) to 41411 You will be given a url for the website where you can download the Mystery Skype Notebook. It is best not to download it from your phone but to access that link from your computer or mobile device to download it. The book comes with lots of links found in sections and pages. Have fun exploring it all.

Have you downloaded it yet? What are your impressions?

mystery skype one note