Friday, November 15, 2013

Week 8 - Voice/Video Calls and Chats

Can you believe we are already at week 8? I have really enjoyed our journey together as we explore the possibilities of using web 2.0 tools in education. I hope you have learned some new tools or reinforced some skills you haven’t used in a while.
Week 8 focuses on making voice/video calls and chats. As you know, one of your reward options for completing this course is a Hue HD webcam! A webcam is such a powerful communication and collaboration tool for the classroom. You can connect with other teachers and classrooms all over the world. You can virtually bring in experts to your classroom that you would never have been able to access prior to this technology. The possibilities are endless! (Can you tell I get excited about this topic?)
Thing 18 - Set up a Skype account and add contacts to your account
The free software program we are going to use explore the use of online voice and video calls is Skype. Skype allows you to live chat, make voice calls, and make video calls on your computer – all for free! Now, be sure to notice I said that this is a software program. It is not an online tool like the other things we have been using. You do have to download the software and install it on your computer. But, it is free! :) To download the program on your home computer, go to, and click Download Skype free (do not get Skype Premium). At school, you just go to the Zenworks window and click on the Install Skype icon.
Once you install the software, just follow the prompts to get an account and set up a username. Once your account is set up, add me as an contact so you can practice using the software if you wish. My Skype account name is CynthiaMatzat. Add a comment to this post to share your username with the group so we can all add each other to our contacts list. This will give you yet another way to communicate with each other during the remainder of the workshop.
Here are several tutorials to help you navigate the software:
Help for Skype - User Guides
Video tutorials:
Thing 19 – Explore Skype in the Classroom and share an idea you have for using Skype as an educator.
Skype recently launched a new feature called Skype in the Classroom. It is a way for educators to connect and share project ideas for using Skype in the classroom. It’s a great place to start when you are looking for another classroom or an expert to connect with for a project.

Check out Skype in the Classroom and these additional sites to look for ways you might use Skype in your classroom. Write a reflection post on your blog to share an idea of how you might personally use Skype in your job (or even in your personal life). Be sure to read some of your colleagues posts and comment on their thoughts.


  1. I'm beachbronn. I'm so excited we have bandwidth to use Skype now. I used it often in the last school I was in so was sad when I first came to Branson and couldn't use it. Last year we Skyped a couple of times with an architect in Chicago for a 5th grade project we worked on. It was great! This year I'm hoping to Mystery Skype with classrooms in other countries, where the 4th & 6th grade students ask questions to figure out where in the world the mystery class might be.

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  3. My skype name is robbie.pitman2

    I have never used skype before only because I never really have had the need to. It is a great idea or resource to have. I feel that I would only use this for personal use. If I or loved one was out of town for an extended period of time this would come in handy. I know some friends that have family overseas or have a son in college and they use this all the time to communicate because it is personal and FREE! I will have to look into using this for my classroom and get some ideas on what high school classrooms are doing to utilize Skype. Just some ideas that I would like to try to work on would be to use skype for maybe a veteran to speak to the class through skype if he or she could not make it to the classroom. I could use skype to communicate with my class if I was absent for any reason. The possibilities are endless and I can not wait to research this more to utilize this in education.

    1. Robbie
      A few years ago, my partner teacher and I skyped a active duty military in Iraq for Veteran's day. It was an incredible experience. Smartboards are a great resource because they allowed everyone to see.

  4. My skype username is deanna.sheets

    I have had skype for a while and when I was in the classroom teaching we skyped authors each year. I love the fact that so many authors skype for free.

  5. My Skype username is Barbara.head22.

  6. My skype username is live:melodyalms. Or at least that is all I can figure out.