Sunday, November 12, 2006

Well, well, well I never thought I would say this but well done to my Local Authority - Caerphilly County Borough Council. This is because at the outset of this week and following the inspiration of K12 Online, I decided to install SKYPE on my classroom PC - the result - It failed to open or log on - very much as I thought that it would. I e-mailed our IT Helpdesk to ask them among other things, why couldn't I use Skype in my classroom ( I di have to explain what Skype was first !!!), the result of this was that one of the County IT Team visited school on Friday and following a brief discussion on the problem I left him alone to 'tinker' with the pc settings. 20 minutes later he told me that Skype had opened on the pc and that he could see my contact list.
It worked - I immediately noticed that Allanah King in New Zealand was online despite the late hour there ( it was already 11.45 am in the UK by then ) - so we Skyped her for a chat - and it worked perfectly with the obvious time lag.
by this time the class were getting excited and I asked them for any questions to ask about New Zealand or their school. Some of my brave pupils then carried out a conversation with Allanah even though she was 13,000 miles away chatting about Appleby School and the surrounding area.
I believe that we are certainly the 1st school in the authority to get online with Skype, I wouldn't like to say we were the first in Wales as I have no details on this ( there certainly can't have been many ) and there have certainly been videoconferencing contacts within Caerphilly CBC area.
But we don't mind we think Skype is cool and that our sister school in New Zealand is pretty cool too.
My cheers to Caerphilly will be 2 no the full 3 though as we still have the problem of our new class blog not being able to be accessed from within the school as it is being blocked by the word blocker !!!! we stil don't know why, so come on Caerphilly get your act together !!!

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Joe Dale said...

Dear Paul,

I am interested in your experiments with Skype in the classroom. I wrote a post for the TES ICT blog about this recently. 'How to use Skype to help with language lessons' and I also talked about Skype, blogging, podcasting on the latest LanguageLabUnleashed podcast organised by Barbara Sawhill.

There is going to be s Skypecast about using Skype for teaching on 30th November which you may want to take part in.

Best wishes


Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,
This sounds interesting - I'll try to be there even at 1am ( I'll check out the skypecasts - are they using Tapped In as a medium for IM conversation at the same time ??? this was used during recent k12 online and worked when skype failed ???
I have left a comment on you r blog also.
best wishes

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