SKYPE ME by Eric Wittmer. Eric ran this workshop at the Keystone Summit. Using with two classes, these teachers started with kids introducing each other, then asked the kids how they would like to use this technology to collaborate with their new friends. WHY?
  • student collaboration
  • teacher collabaoration
  • integrating curriculum, math, language arts, technology, read a book together
  • higher leve thinking skills
  • learn about another person who does not live here(whereever you are)
  • teaches kids modern day skills
  • learn from other people
  • professional development
  • send files, photos

CONS - The Mac version does not have as many options as the PC version. This could involve a fee if you wish to use some of the plug ins. Using the teacher's computer limits access for all at same time. Student's can get on at home if they set up a user account without parents knowing. Sometimes there is a technical glitch and you have to reconnect. So the best way is to have one account in the classroom with a secret password, so they do not log in at home.

These two teachers started Skyping by sharing a common book "Rules". Every several chapters, they would connect and talk about the book, the characters and the symptoms of autism. They are talking about doing a reader's theatre or digital storytelling. The autistic suppport teacher did a short presentation to both classes about the characteristics of an autistic person and some of the strategies she uses with them.

You can conference with 6 connections at one time. This uses a lot of bandwith and is a bit troubesome here at Hershey because too many users on the Internet at the same time.
You can also use iChat if you are both Mac Users. If you are on the same network, you can do it very easy. When yo go outside, you need to use an AIM account.

If you want to arachieve the programs you can use, for Mac, ($15) with a QuickTime file format. For the PC you can use ($25) and uses LARGE file space in a .wmv format.

More notes on the PBwiki - has materials already online to use with lessons - Free collaborative online space.

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