Skype: A freemium voice-over-IP service and instant messaging client, currently developed by the Microsoft Skype Division. The name was derived from “sky” and “peer”. - "How can they be so good?": The strange story of Skype, Toivo Tänavsuu, arstechnica, 2013-09-02
Skype is only one of many services available to connect one person to another. Other peer to peer communication services include: - Facetime (Apple) - Facebook Chat - Google+ / Google Hangout (Multiple Users) - ooVoo (Multiple Users)
It is important to make sure that when you communicate with a potential party (musician, clinician, teacher, classroom composer, and educator) you specify which service you are going to use.
Why Skype? Skype is a popular freeware that has a focus in the education field. It is easy to access, and most people are able to connect through this medium.
Positive Points of Skype: Downside Points of Skype: - Connect with people all over the world - Internet connection: speed/quality - Worldwide learners - Time Zones - Virtual Field Trip - Funding: for computer/camera/microphone - Save Money - Possible background noise - Supplement to creating lifelong learners - Not a good sense of censoring language - Cutting edge of technology - Poor visual quality - Guest speakers - Share files at real-time – handouts, information
Skype: 3 ways to use Skype in the classroom:
Collaborate with other classes, no matter where they are.
Find guest speakers and invite them into your classroom.
Take a virtual field trip anywhere in the world.
Equipment that I am using at Frost Middle School: - HP EliteBook 8470p Laptop (Requested by district IT to use) Windows 7, Intel inside Core i5 vpro - Connection: Through hardwire Ethernet cable - External Webcam: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 1080p - External Microphone: Zoom H2n - AV projector - Soundcart / Wall mounted JBL Speakers - Other: 2 microphone stand booms for placing camera and microphone using microphone handle clips 2 25’ USB Extension Repeater cables – this is used to move mic and camera around room and to maintain a strong signal. *Not using a repeater cable will cause loss of data and lag time.
Ideas for using it in the music classroom: *Side by Side Classroom: 2 classes that perform for one another. This could be two middle school orchestra groups that are playing the same repertoire and play for one another. Sections may share observations with other sections. Teachers can share feedback with the ensembles. Students could also write responses on paper.
*Clinicians: If you have a favorite clinician in another city, state or country, bring them in via Skype. Saves a lot of money than trying to drive or fly them in.
*Sectionals: Have a sectional with your students. Example: Clarinet section working with clarinet music major or college clarinet studio. Send your sections to another classroom or LMC, and let your students get extra attention while your class continues.
*1-on-1: The same as sectionals work with music majors or private instructors. Students can get one on one help. A good way to connect with your feeder school. Example: have your middle school student work with your top player in high school. Make connections with student to student help.
*Composers: If you are doing a unit on composers, bring one in via Skype. Maybe you are playing a piece by a specific composer, see if that composer can work with your group.
*Performances: Have a concert coming up? Perform for another school, clinician, etc. Play for others through Skype. Get peer to peer feedback.
Other Classroom Settings:
*Guest speaker: Have someone you would like to speak with your class Skype in. They can be anywhere!
*Classroom Games: There are many Skype classroom games that can be played with schools from all over the world. Ideas include: What location are we in through sets of questions.
*Connect with classrooms in community
*Where else to look? On Skype, there is a lesson page. In the lesson page is a drop down menu for all of the different subject areas, age ranges, language selections, looking for: skype session, teachers, guest speakers, collaborative projects.
What do you need to get on Skype with your class?
Basics: - Computer, laptop, Ipad/Tablet - Camera: Internal or external - Microphone: Internal or external - Internet connection - Skype program
Next Level: - Projector / Screen - Sound system to turn up volume / External speakers - External microphone for moving microphone in room - External camera for moving in room
How to connect with other people? - Visit: https://education.skype.com/ *Classes are listed by subject area and description of desired session.
- Facebook Groups: Set up a group page, find a group page for your subject area. There are many Facebook groups geared towards education.
- In the district: Make connections with your own colleagues and other classrooms. Let students network with one another.