Skype (Desktop Video Conferencing)

Sometimes you might want to talk or work with people remotely, or have a guest speaker talk and interact with your class without physically being there in the room, in cases such as this then you should consider using Skype.

Skype is a free application that you can download and install onto your computer and some types of phone - it lets you hold free conference calls and 1-2-1 video calls along with sharing files and an instant messaging chat system.

Using Skype you can easily display a guest speaker to a class via a large monitor or projector and then have the group/class ask them questions.  Depending on the class & available facilities you may want to have a "middle man" that puts the questions to the guest speaker either via microphone or text based chat.

Click here to go to the Skype website

Skype in the classroom

"Skype in the classroom is a free global community that invites teachers to collaborate on classroom projects where they might use Skype, and share skills and inspiration around specific teaching needs."

Do more with Skype

If you want to record the audio from a Skype conference as an MP3 for later listening you can do that by using either MP3 my MP3* or Skype Call Recorder you can learn more about each of them by clicking on the links above.

If you also use
Evernote then you can install Callnote, this lets you record Skype conversations and upload the resulting audio file straight into your Evernote account.

You can also record and edit video chats using Vodburner.

In addition, if your guest speaker does not have access to a computer, they can still talk to you and your students using Skype via Ring 2 Me - which lets you set up a local rate phone number that people can dial using a normal telephone and then talk to you and your students in the classroom/lecture theatre your computer via Skype.

Access Skype without admin rights

If you ever need to access Skype on a machine which you can't install the Skype software to then you have two options:

  1. Download and run Skype Portable.
  2. Login via Skype's web interface

Printable guide: Skype in the classroom