December 01, 2005

Skype: good enough for business - so good enough for schools now, too?

Skype_1For the past year I have been trying to convince my Local Education Authorities and the other 31 of them in Scotland to install Skype on every one of their office and school computers. What better way to get students talking for real to foreign students for nothing, nada, rien, nichts? The argument has always been that it's not safe for the computers (never any mention of it being dangerous for the kids, which I firmly believe it is not. It's a great tool for kids).

Well, 70% of businesses believe it is safe and acceptable to install on their systems.

I raise the challenge: who will be the first education authority in Scotland to install Skype on every school machine?

I wonder if Don or Don is reading this? Which one of the Dons will it be?


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Thankfully, I had no problem at all getting this passed in my school. Everyone here sees it as a valuable tool. Unfortunately, after installing it on all of the computers, Katrina blew through here and shut down school. I'll be getting my kids back in January, and I am ready to crank it up.

Maybe when we get back, we can do a Skype call with a group of my kids??

Are you Scottish in your origins, with a name like Mull? I'd LOVE to get a Skype conversation going between you and our school. I'm sure there would be an interesting school assembly in there somewhere!

There's a great post from weblogg-ed about 10 ideas for Skype in the classroom.

I think lists like these would be a great resource for educators. And not just for Skype. You can create some great collaborative in-class/inter-class activities with Yahoo Messenger, Hello, even OneNote (not open source, I know but schools do use it and it's got some nice features.) And not just K-12 either, there's lots of interesting possibilities with reading, speaking or listening activities for ESL students as well.

Stephanie - just realised you're here in Paris, too. Where are you?

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

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School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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