Skype brings a whole new dimension to the classroom opportunities. As I have been chronicling throughout this blog, I have used Skype for years to bring experts and fellow educators into by university classroom.
In a previous posting, I discussed ways to find people to Skype into your classroom through wiki directories or conference program directories or just meeting up with people at conferences and getting their contact information.
You were introduced to a Skype page for an Author Network. This is where authors can offer their services to talk with your students.
We shared Silvia Tolisano's wonderful 20-minute introductory video about how to use Skype in your classroom, Around the World with Skype.
Well, Guess What? Skype is taking the lead to foster using its video conferencing software in the classroom with their new project entitled Skype in the Classroom. Skype is going to support an online directory of people who would be willing to skype with you and your students. What is really exciting about this project is its international aspect. I don't know if you know this, but Skype was founded by a Swede and a Dane. It was developed by a pair of Estonian developers. Presently, Skype's headquarters are in Luxembourg.
There isn't a great deal of information about how they will do this. You can pre-register at their Skype in the Classroom website. I just signed-up this morning and they sent me an email verifying my "subscription." This took me to their Subscription Page entitled "Skype - Pay Me" I didn't quite see how this fit with the FREE label that Skype put on Skype in the Classroom. I looked around and didn't find anything that mentioned Skype in the Classroom. I figured that something would happen in the future . . . and it did.
I received another email from Skype sending me a list of the information I had submitted - my name and email address. Oh Well . . . Skype in the Classroom is in its beta format and I am happy to be one of the early adopters for this project.
The international aspect of this video conferencing tool has the potential to enhance the global aspects of our education.