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After reading the article titled Skype: Oh, the Places Youll Go!

, I must
confess that I have only Skyped one time in a school setting - while working on my
high schools yearbook staff. Our group Skyped with the designer of the yearbook
cover, who worked for the publishing company. This connection was very beneficial
because it enabled us to critique and make suggestions to the art design while the
designer remotely made changes in a live setting. On a personal level, I have also
Skyped relatives who live out of town. Similarly, more people of my generation use
Facetime through an I-phone or I-pad. Facetime can be used anywhere, even
outside, with no real setup.
As far as prior knowledge, I was aware of ways to contact people through
social media, but I didnt realize that so many authors were willing to Skype for free.
Through this article, I learned that it was possible to participate in group video
calling. Teachers at all levels should embrace this capability.
Skype and other technologies provide powerful solutions for teachers at
almost no cost. Budget-strapped school systems can definitely utilize these tools to
enhance learning activities. In my elementary school, we had an author or
illustrator physically hold a live session on the premises once per year. This event
was a big production, which was funded by our PTO. The costs of making this
logistical connection included airfare, hotel, meals, expenses, and a fee to the
author. Even if an author still requires a speaking fee, the experience could be
transacted at a much lower cost using Skype. In addition, multiple schools at
multiple locations could share the cost.
After reading this article and thinking about the benefits of Skype and other
technologies in the school setting, I began to think about researching other ways

that educators could tap into other resources. Wouldnt it be impactful to connect a
classroom to an active science lab? While teaching history, wouldnt it be beneficial
to take a Skype tour of a historical place being discussed? Another idea that
comes to mind is to Skype with active members of the military to recount their
experiences in armed conflicts or humanitarian missions.
Skype can also be used to connect with people and places around the globe.
Cultural appreciation could be multiplied through personal and visual connections.
Teaching a foreign language could be made more practical by speaking with
someone who is actively living in an area speaking that language. While discussing
a specific subject, like Greek architecture, actual buildings could be seen rather than
a one-dimensional picture in a textbook.
Educational technology provides ever-increasing options for teachers, and
this article helped me in considering the enormous possibilities that are currently
accessible or will become available with entrepreneurial advancements. Educators
should constantly consider how to enhance students understandings on a given
subject and then research technology options that can be applied to enrich that
learning opportunity.

McClinktock Miller, S. (2013, September-October). Skype: Oh, the Places Youll Go!
Learning & Leading with Technology, 27-29.