News from Skype in the Classroom

Keep up to date with all our latest news and discover some of the innovative ways teachers are using Skype in the Classroom.

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2015-02-27 22:45:00 UTC

Are Your Students Ready to Answer The Big Question?

How do you spark your class’ curiosity? As part of our Skype Inspires Literacy program, we are partnering with School in the Cloud to bring students an exciting new initiative designed to inspire creativity and collaboration.

The Big Question challenges students to investigate some of today’s most thought-provoking topics – from “what life looks like on Mars” to “what would happen if computers suddenly disappeared”. Every day a new question will be posed to challenge your big thinkers. Then students can search for their answers and your class can return with a point of view. The questions aren’t easy, but they inspire critical thinking, expand perceptions and might even spark a bit of debate!

Think your class has all the answers? View the first video from Sugata Mitra here and join the fun!

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2015-02-26 22:28:00 UTC

Talk to the Storytellers and Bring Literacy to Life

Whether your students can’t get enough of their favorite books or have trouble putting pencil to paper, a visit from an author, illustrator or publisher is sure to engage and inspire.

Skype in the Classroom just unveiled a brand new Literacy Guest Speaker tool that brings over 120+ storytellers to your fingertips. Literacy lessons have never been this fun or easy to arrange! Find dozens of options for your class based on your time zone, age group and daily schedule. Then you can select the perfect professional to help spark conversation and creativity. It’s the perfect way to celebrate World Read Aloud Day on March 4th, or get students excited about reading and writing any day of the year.

Television producers, picture book illustrators, historians, poets, and more are all waiting to stimulate the minds of your students! Learn more, and discover the perfect storyteller to bring into your classroom here.

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2015-02-24 20:19:00 UTC

Skype & O, The Oprah Magazine Want Students to “Just Say Hello” and Combat Loneliness!

Did you know that at least one in five people suffer from loneliness? O, The Oprah Magazine and Skype in the Classroom have teamed up to launch the Just Say Hello Ambassador Project, a new program with a clear mission: help tweens and teens feel more included and be more inclusive. In today’s world, where bullying is more widespread, it’s even easier for students to feel left out and disconnected…and this can have dire consequences.

But technology can be the solution! Through the new Just Say Hello project, youth ambassadors and their teachers are creating clubs and activities that inspire fellow students to reach out to a classmate or school across the globe! Ready to get involved? Learn what other students are doing and how you can encourage friendship and kindness in your classroom.

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2015-01-24 02:31:00 UTC

Skype explores the nature of project-based learning

It’s one thing to observe nature on a screen. It’s another to be right in the middle of the action! In conjunction with UK teaching school Broadclyst Primary, Microsoft is launching an innovative new project-based learning toolkit leveraging BBC Earth Films’ Enchanted Kingdom, the most ambitious 3D nature film ever made. The rich curriculum will challenge students by encouraging them to explore their world and solve problems in creative and collaborative ways.

Skype in the Classroom will host a collection of Enchanted Kingdom lessons, ranging from humanities to sciences and coding. In addition, teachers can post their own lessons and connect with other schools across the UK and internationally. Bringing the excitement further to life, BBC filmmakers will also be available as guest speakers in classrooms via Skype.

Ready for your next adventure? Experience the magic of Enchanted Kingdom now!

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2014-12-12 10:22:00 UTC

Maine students meet Minecraft developer via Skype!

This Computer Science Education Week, Skype in the classroom has made it their mission to get kids excited about careers in computer science.

This excitement certainly reached fever pitch in Falmouth Elementary School, Maine, when Mr Mr Harvey's 4th grade students had the opportunity to speak to Jens Bergensten! As one of Time magazine’s 'Top 100 Most Influential People' in 2013 and the lead developer of their favorite game, Minecraft, Jens (better known as Jeb) shared his passion for his career in coding and clearly made a big impression on the star-struck students. Mr Harvey was even selected for the November MinecraftEdu Featured Educator! Read the whole story in the latest Skype blog.

Our free Guest Speakers in Computer Science programme can help you to bring the most inspiring tech experts into your classroom for Computer Science Education Week, and beyond. So what are you waiting for? Let us help you to find the right expert for your students. Get started here!

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2014-12-08 18:05:00 UTC

'Annie' star Quvenzhané Wallis talks robots and career paths with students via Skype!

In honor of Women's Entrepreneurship Day, the students at Seattle Girls School were treated to a very special Skype call from a young actress with a strong entrepreneurial spirit: Quvenzhané Wallis. Speaking as the youngest person to have ever received an Oscar nomination surely brought extra meaning to the advice that Quvenzhané shared with her student peers, to always persevere with their dreams.

Watch the inspiring video to hear the star of the new 'Annie' movie talk about robots, career paths and how to fulfill your dreams!

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2014-12-05 18:51:00 UTC

Skype brings computer science to life!

We know it is not always easy to convince students of the excitement to be found in computer science or other STEM subjects. We also know that our teachers often tell us that it is real world experiences that make the biggest impact upon their students.

That's why we've made it our mission to bring together some of the smartest, most passionate and most engaging tech industry professionals in the world. These new guest speakers would love to talk to your class about their experiences. Whether it’s career education or just understanding the different roles available in technology, we are here to help you find the right people to inspire your students.

So what are you waiting for? Kick off your classroom's Hour of Code celebrations by selecting the perfect guest speaker in computer science to speak to your students!

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2014-12-04 12:20:00 UTC

Everyone starts somewhere!

Our future will be shaped by the technology that we use. That is why we don't think children should only learn how to use tech, but they should also be given the chance to learn how to create it.

Code.org have set the epic challenge of encouraging 100 million people worldwide to learn how to code for the Hour of Code. As their proud partner, Microsoft have made it their mission to equip teachers with all the free tools that you'll need to share the excitement of coding with your students. Transform your classroom into a computer science lab by following these three easy steps:

  1. Get started by visiting Microsoft's YouthSpark Hub. Full of exciting educational materials, this site will share great ideas about how to engage your students through coding.

  2. Register your classroom for a Skype call with an expert in computer science. We will help you to find the right guest speaker to bring code to life for your students.

  3. Share your experiences with us! Keep us updated on your classroom’s coding adventures by sending your stories to us on Facebook and Twitter. Don't forget to include #HourofCode!

So what are you waiting for? Let's empower children everywhere to design their own future. Get ready, get steady and code!

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2014-11-14 11:31:00 UTC

One classroom virtually explores life on Mars via Skype!

Mr McFarland made the impossible possible for his students when he organised a Skype call to the University of North Dakota. Far from being an ordinary call, this conversation was a virtual field trip that enabled his eighth grade astronomy class to experience a 'Martian habitat'!

Having designed a unique physical simulation of the planet Mars, the University of North Dakota have sent three scientists to live in this simulated habitat for 30 days. This experiment is providing experts with incredible insights into what it may be like to take part in a real mission to Mars. By making a Skype call to the scientists during this experiment, Mr McFarland's students were given the incredible opportunity to hear first hand what it may be like to live on another planet! You can read the whole 'out of this world' story in the latest blog post from Skype Social Good.

Want your students to experience something extraordinary without leaving their classroom? You will find all of our inspirational lessons, guest speakers and virtual field trips here!

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2014-10-29 17:36:00 UTC

Taylor Swift shares her love of reading and writing via Skype!

Welcoming a new classmate is always an exciting moment. So imagine the excitement felt by the students of Leonard Elementary School in Troy, Michigan, when their new classmate turned out to be global superstar Taylor Swift!

Genia Connell's students were one of the two classes lucky enough to be chosen by Scholastic to take part in a live Skype call with Taylor. With the aim of promoting the fun and importance of literacy, the international singer/songwriter made the time to share her love of reading and writing with the excited students. You can watch the special event here.

However, the classroom inspiration needn't stop there. We have so many incredible authors and guest speakers who are waiting to spark your students' passion for reading and writing. Let us help you to create a classroom full of literacy superstars!

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