Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 17, 2011

Skype Tips

Tips for skype success

1. Determine your goal. Is it to try the new technology? Is it to have the children learn something specific?

2. Visit to download the software. Step-by-step help is available at Make sure your Skyping partner school does the same.

3. Locate or purchase the microphone, speakers (so the whole class can hear) or headset (if only one person needs to hear) and webcam (if desired). The Skype Web site has some for sale and offers guidelines on using your own equipment.

4. If available, consider using an interactive whiteboard, which allows the whole class to see the video conversation.

5. Practice grade-appropriate presentations, listening and etiquette skills with your students before your first session.

6. Prepare the children ahead of time. Ask them to come up with thoughtful questions.

7. Don’t Skype randomly. Start with something you are passionate about and find someone you can connect with through Skype. Your enthusiasm will inspire your students.

8. Visit your school’s librarian or technology person for resources, such as listings of people and schools interested in Skyping. Many school librarians have access to these.

9. Check out social networking sites such as and If you are pen pals with another school, ask them to consider Skyping with you.

10. Be sure to have parental permission to put students on camera.

11. Coordinate the best time to Skype, and take time differences into account.

12. Be patient. You will need to get used to the time lapse when a question is asked of someone thousands of miles away who must hear it, process it and then answer it.


  1. You know, Kathy, I actually have Skype, but have only used it a couple of times. I rarely think of it, to tell you the truth, but I think it could be very useful if it DID cross my mind! Thank you for these tips! 🙂


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