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Friday, May 6, 2011

How Skype can be used to promote learning

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will continue our discussion on how Skype can facilitate communication among teachers, students, parents, staff and the Jewish community around the globe. 

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has a interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads as well.

Note: Although Skype can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

What is Skype?

According to Wikipedia (  please find an explanation of Skype below:

Skype (pronounced /ˈskaɪp/) is a software application that allows users to make voice calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phone can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features which include instant messagingfile transfer, and video conferencing. Skype has 663 million registered users as of 2010.[1] 

Where is  Skype  located on the web?

How can Skype be used to promote learning and teacher professional development?

Click on the links below and see how teachers and staff developers use Skype for to enhance instruction and staff development.

Skype for the classroom on YouTube

On the next post we will share a chart explaining the various features Skype provides to facilitate communication among teachers, students, parents, staff and the global Jewish community.

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