Skype is commonly known for its video chat capabilities similar to Apple's Facetime and Google Hangouts, but did you know that it can be used in the classroom? Go on over to The Microsoft Educator Community and sign up for tons of resources including Skype for Education. Skype has several options allowing many options for your classroom from virtual field trips to games.
Skype has experts in many fields across the globe who are available for you to sign up for a virtual field trip. The expert will talk to your students and show them things out in the field where they are working. These give similar experiences to a field trip, without the long bus ride or the limitations. Skype has opportunities for students around the world.
Another option from Skype is to have guest speakers in your classroom. Similar to the virtual field trips this allows speakers from around the world to present for your classroom. This can be an extremely enriching opportunity for your students.
The last option that Skype has is Mystery Skype. Now it is not truly a mystery. You, as the teacher, actually select and schedule the game with the other class. After you set up your Mystery Skype game you can choose what you and the other class are trying to figure out. The most common option is to play 20 questions to figure out the location of the other class. There are other variations of the game, but no matter which version you play, your students will have fun working with a class in another school.
Just about every teacher uses Microsoft Office in their classroom. It is a necessity! There are many alternatives and they all have their place, but Microsoft Office is the standard in its product category. Most schools provide it on teachers' school computers, but not for their personal computers for use at home. Let's be honest: Most teachers take work home with them to work outside of regular school hours. Microsoft office can be a little pricey, but never fear! There is another free, yet legal option. Click the button below to see if you qualify for a free copy of Microsoft Office as a teacher. No catch. No gimmicks. Just use your school email address. Mine is downloading as I write this.