Posted by: Kathy Cassidy | April 18, 2010

Adventures in Skype-land

I use Skype fairly frequently in my classroom.  We talk to and learn from classes in other cities and countries. We have talked to “experts” who were willing to help us learn. We have done reader’s theatre with a class of first graders in Alabama.  We have even Skyped into workshops in far away places to tell teachers how we use Skype in our classroom.  Last fall, one of my student’s parents was unable to be present for our student/parent/teacher conference, so she joined us via Skype.

This week we had a very special day in our classroom.  Our “big” blogging buddies from the University of Regina drove to Moose Jaw to meet us.  These big buddies have been commenting on my student’s blogs since January, so my students had been anticipating the day for a long time.  Unfortunately, on the day of the big event, two of my students had chicken pox.  I called both parents to see if they would like to use Skype so that their child would not have to miss out on the party.  One child was unable to participate, but the other parent gamely downloaded Skype and gave it a try.

The experiment was a success! The buddies kept a running commentary going as they drew the student, and held up the laptop so that he could see what was going on in the classroom.  Later, when Patrick Lewis told us the story of the Wide Mouthed Frog, one of the buddies held the laptop in her lap so that he could see what was happening.

After it was over, his mom sent me a Skype chat that said, “he thought it was pretty cool to see his buddies AND his classmates on Skype!  I will have him blog about his experience this week.  Thank you so much for  giving him the opportunity to participate today.”  She later told me that they were now using Skype in the evenings to talk to his father, who works in another city.  I decided it had been a success!

Later in the week, I had this conversation with Carson in the Skype chat:

Carson: hi misis Cassidy I rily mis you frum your stodint Carson

Me: I really miss you, too, Carson.  I think Dalton misses you, too.  You can read about it on his blog. There are 8 students in our class who are sick now!

Carson: dus Dolton achaly have fethrs? hehehehee that is funy

Me: I don’t know. We’ll have to see when he gets back.

Meaningful literacy. Writing, reading and responding to text from your classmates.  Even when you are sick at home with the chicken pox.  Now that is definitely a success.


  1. I love all of the activities you are doing with skype and the fact that you were able to have a parent jump on board is a big win! I love that your students can also still connect with you while they are sick. What an adorable chat archive 🙂

  2. These tools are wonderful and I have been making connections too. I attempted linking away students into the classroom as well. we had to use Ustream on the two occasions. Next week we have a virtual tour of a steamboat museum in Kansas City, Mo. I think we are all working to erase the classroom walls with these technologies. I want them to become as prosaic as opening a textbook. I love hearing about your classroom activities. Keep sharing.

  3. Hi Mrs. Cassidy and 1st Graders,
    I teach 4th graders in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA and like your class, we use Skpye quite often. My students love being able to connect with other students in other states. Maybe we could Skype with your class? Next week I’m using Skpe for several lessons.

    I love how Skype can be used beyond the classroom for lots of good reasons. One of my students has an aunt in Central America, and after learning about Skype in our class, he and his aunt now use it to talk to each other. Several of my students have used it on the weekends to talk to me and ask me questions about an assignment.

    Keep up the great work. Hope to “see” you on Skype one of these days.

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