Monday, January 17, 2011
The "Skype" is the Limit
I believe that I embrace technology as much as the next person. I surround myself with it and crave every new technological idea that comes out. However, I was slow to get on the “Skype” boat. I thought video chat was a fad that could only be used by teenagers who were grounded from visiting their friends. I had no idea it could be such a powerful tool in the field of education.
This past week I had the opportunity to facilitate a video chat discussion regarding the use of Response to Intervention (RtI) at the secondary level with an outstanding high school staff from Berkeley Springs High School in Berkeley Springs, WV. What started as phone call exchanges and talk of doing a phone conference morphed into an incredible exchange of ideas and questions through a video chat. I believe that the people who attended on my end came away with some great ideas for implementing RtI in their schools and a good resource to consult during the process.
Most importantly, it was easy! Granted I had incredible help from our technology coordinator and the technology coordinator on the other end of our chat but by all accounts it was very simple to set up and conduct. I’m looking forward to doing more video chats through Skype to allow the principals I work with the opportunity to gain new ideas without having to travel outside of the area. We’ve started on a small scale but I hope to expand it.
In the interim, check out the video capture we did of the chat at www.rpesd.org. It should be posted this week. Also, there is a wonderful article about how teachers are using Skype to teach in an under-developed portion of New Delhi (http://tinyurl.com/46vpgkq). These are just some of the ways that video chat is becoming main stream. If you’d like to learn more about using Skype in your classroom or school, sign up for an account (http://blogs.skype.com/classroom-pre-register) and review the upcoming Skype Education directory that will link numerous classrooms and individuals looking for an opportunity to video chat (http://www.skypeforeducators.com/educators.htm )
Posted by Tom Kitchen