I've tried Skype once before and had problems with it slowing down my home computer. I thought I'd try loading and using it on my school computer. I didn't have any problems loading it onto the computer since I did it from home. However, I have noticed that my computer seems slower loading and processing my commands. I've changed the settings so it will not automatically load when I start my computer in hopes to help with this problem.
Finding other people to converse with over the computer was much easier this time since it has been included as one of the 11 1/2 Things. I was delighted to connect with another "beach" player and not just type text but actually have a live conversation. I had to admit to the other player that I wasn't sure I'd want to invest in the webcam since I often work on the computer in my PJ's, no make-up, and my hair not combed. Mrs. Jetson had the idea of a mask she could hold up in front of the video camera while on the phone...I may have to check into that if I get a webcam!
While reading some of the other links it seems Skype has had problems with user "buy in" and use of the free product. This is the main drawback to using it as a tool at school. While reading The Learning Librarian's wonderful post and instruction manual she mentioned that finding classes that are evenly matched in age and experience was the biggest problem with her first efforts to create collaboration between two classes. For now it might be easier to accomplish within a district where you could collaborate with between various buildings but the same grade levels to share common learning. I would love to try it with a staff meeting to introduce our technology this fall or maybe district leaders could "visit" our schools to welcome up back in August instead of everyone trying to go to the Coleman Coliseum at the same time...anybody have some ideas they would like to work on together?
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