Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Skype and FaceTime

Recently, we had a Video Conferencing session at our school put on by our tech assistant, Matt Storz.  I was unable to attend, but Matt filled me in on what he knew about using Skype.  Very useful information.

Yesterday my kids, Ryan and Robert, had off of school due to a teacher in-service.  So I decided to take advantage of the situation and Skype with them from our classroom. 

I also decided to use FaceTime and found out only a few of the students in our class knew what it was or how to use it.

Here are some pictures of us using Skype and Facetime.

To give us a purpose, and as an educational activity, our students at school, and my kids at home, had to search and find 4-5 objects that had some quality in common.  Perhaps the objects were all the same shape or color, or they may have all been made of the same material.  The kids then shared with each other the objects they chose and everyone tried to guess what the objects had in common.  The students and Ryan and Robert had a good time trying to guess the common factor.  

Here are two short videos of us using Skype and FaceTime.

By  far, FaceTime had better video quality than Skype and took no set up or download time.  We now plan to try using FaceTime with  Apple TV to project FaceTime from our iPad onto a large screen and see how good the quality of the video is there.  

The biggest question our students had after we finished Skyping was whether they have Skype on their laptops and if they could each have their own accounts.  

Of course this would mean I would need to put in several hours downloading Skype onto 25 computers and setting up 25 Skype accounts.  We'll see.  

If you would like to know more about Skype or FaceTime, I'd be happy to share what I know with you.  

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