Why am I such a fan of Skype? Because it opens our classroom door to the world. We’ve enjoyed a few projects and some Mystery Skype calls, but it has so much more to offer. Looking for some ways to integrate Skype into your curriculum? Here are ten ways that I’ve been thinking about lately…
Mystery Career: Students ask questions to narrow down what field the guest is in. The guest then shares about his or her career.
What’s In the Box?: Exchange an artifact box with another class. Be sure the box contains items that represent where you live. Example: A rock, a pinecone, a small photo of a state/country flag, etc. Allow each class to examine the boxes, then Skype to reveal where each other is from.
Where are you in history? If your class has studied their American History, why not have a Skype where each class tries to figure out where the other is, based on historical events only. Do you live near the site for a Civil War Battle? Are you within a hundred miles of the Oregon trail?
Curriculum Connections: If you’re studying a particular topic, say the Solar Sytem, why not partner with a class studying the same? No matter the topic, matching up with a class to chat with can help kids see that what their learning is more than just something to know within the four walls of their classroom.
Monster Exchange: Partner up with a class and have each student draw a monster. Ask the students to write a descriptive writing about how to draw the monster. It’s great practice for writing direction. Next, exchange the descriptions with another class via email, Edmodo, or mail. Each class draws their creatures. Connect live via Skype and have the partners match up and share their creatures to see how similar they turned out! (Note: This idea is from the MonsterExchange.org project. Skype just adds more fun!)
Holiday Comparisons: Got a holiday coming up? Learn about the traditions and culture involved in the holiday and match up with another class to share with. Is Valentine’s Day celebrated all over the world? What is it like in New Orleans, LA during Mardi Gras? Talking with kids in different parts of the world can broaden views of cultural traditions.
Book Study: What if your class reads the same book as another class? Imagine sharing in the fun of a book discussion with kids in another state. Add in Edmodo for even more discussion and classes could meet in a ‘Cafe Style” bookchat with hot cocoa and books cozied around Skype call, talking characters, predictions, and more.
Eggcellent Engineers: What if you designed a package that would allow an egg to arrive safely in the US Mail? What if you mailed that egg box and opened it live via Skype? Give a specific set of materials, allow kids to engineer the best design. NOTE: We sealed our eggs in a plastic bag just to be “mail safe”. Not all of our eggs survived. But, it sure was egg-citing opening them live on Skype. (Bonus: The egg puns you can make up during this project are egg-stra fun!)
Passion Presentations: What if you have a “Passion Day” in your classroom. Kids spend the day, or some time each day for an extended period, exploring what they are passionate about. Each student prepares a presentation to share their passion. Connect with another class and share the presentations.
Exciting Experiments: Choose a science experiment, or ask students to create one. Partner up with another class, or more, and ask them to complete the same experiment. Skype to share the results. This could help students collect data to find averages, to determine consistency, or even to allow them experience talking about scientific concepts with a new audience.
You might be asking, how do I find a class to Skype with? The best way is to join Skype in the Classroom and list your project! Or tweet it out to your PLN. Don’t be afraid to invite others to join in a project with you. Think of how much your kids will learn about themselves and the world when the calls start coming in. Then you’ll see what all the hype with Skype really is!