Skype

Tech Integration Post # 6 of 10: Skype an Author On The, Before-During-After, Writing Process.

Skype is a service which allows the registered user to make free phone calls and video calls over the Internet.  This is a free service but both users need to have Skype software downloaded on their computers before the technology will work.  In order to make a phone call you’ll need a microphone to speak into and a pair of speakers to listen to the responses of the person you’re talking to.  If you would like to engaging in video calls both parties will needed a webcam in order to be able to see each other.

Using Skype in the classroom is not limited to author workshops, when using Skype you can bring a variety of professionals/experts into your classroom at their convenience.  The following link takes you to a list of professionals/experts from around the world willing to Skype in your classroom.

Also, please take the time to check out this excellent video resource from Silvia Tolisano

Example: Use an author to help teach your learner’s about the before, during, and after writing process.  I’ve found that whenever you connect your learner’s to experts outside the classroom it enhances the validity of the task/assignment ten fold, and you’re students become more engaged.

Learning Outcomes: B.C. Grade 6 Language Arts
A3 – listen purposefully to understand and analyse ideas and information
A5 – select and use strategies when expressing and presenting ideas, information, and feelings
B5 – select and use strategies before reading and viewing to develop understanding of text
C5 – select and use strategies before writing and representing
C6 – select and use strategies during writing and representing to express and refine thoughts
C7 – select and use strategies after writing and representing to improve their work

Here’s a link to all my Skype related bookmarks on Diigo

Let me know what you think.  If you’re reading this and have used these techniques please feel free to comment or question.

Top 10 Teacher Tools List

Here’s my top ten tools list and how I use them.  They’re in no particular order.

  1. Google Documents – The ultimate collaboration tool for your PLN and your learners
  2. Twitter – Widen and enhance your PLN circle with this micro-blogging tool.  Superb tool for connecting with fellow educators.
  3. Diigo – Social bookmarking, highlighting, annotating, and research tool.  Use with learners or use with your PLN
  4. Bit.ly – Powerful URL shortener
  5. VoiceThread – Use it to enhanced/develop oral language skills, practice foreign languages, and useful for students with limited written output or LA students
  6. Skype – Connect your learners with professionals from around the globe, collaborate with classrooms across the nation, and interact with authors
  7. Wallwisher – Virtual sticky-note tool.  Use it as a formative assessment tool during a break
  8. Podomatic – Powerful and free podcast hosting tool
  9. WordPress – Powerful blogging tool which can be used as a reflection tool. Excellent for math journals
  10. Google Reader – Fantastic RSS feed-reader.  Let Google Reader do the work for you.  No longer need to spend time visiting all your favourite websites and blogs.  Google Reader brings them to you to read

Think a tool should have made the top 10?  Let me know your thoughts.