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This is the last post in our five part series on Skype in the classroom. What began as a grassroots effort among educators to connect their classrooms has become a global effort spearheaded by Skype and its CEO Tony Bates. Skype has developed Skype in the classroom into a social network for teachers, in which a teacher can create profiles that describe their classes and teaching interests. Teachers can also search a directory of teachers from all over the world by student age range, language, and subject. One feature that has been widely utilized is the project tab, which helps teachers find partner classrooms for projects. To date, Skype in the classroom has 16,488 educators signed up, 888 collaborative projects created, 171 countries represented, 59 languages represented, 569 resources shared, and 11,062 requests sent between members. Skype has registered 170 million connected users since its inception eight years ago and has a goal to connect 1 million classrooms. Here are ten ways to help you get connected to others using Skype in the classroom.
1. ePALS. Sign up for a free account here and then find other teachers and classes around the globe using Skype.
2. Skype an Author into Your Library or Classroom. This site will connect schools with authors through Skype. Short sessions are free, while longer sessions are subject to a fee set by each author.
3. Skype in Schools. List yourself or find others in this directory just for educators seeking Skype collaboration.
4. Skype in the Classroom – The EduSkypers Phonebook. Scroll through these comments to find other teachers from around the world looking to connect through Skype. The most recent are at the very end of the list.
6. TakingITGlobal. Another project-based organization, this one focuses on youth looking to make positive global changes.
7. Around the World with 80 Schools. This teacher is hoping to connect schools around the world through short Skype sessions.
8. Skype in the Classroom. Join this community to find other teachers seeking Skype connections.
9. Going Global – School Skype Author Visits. Linda Lowery and Richard Keep, children’s book authors and illustrators, are available for Skype interviews for a fee.
10. Mixxer. This group helps connect language learners seeking partners to practice their language skills via Skype.
These are ten of the fifty ideas listed in Teachers Degree’s 50 Awesome Ways to use Skype in the Classroom http://bit.ly/pcZOZR