- Virtual Office Hours
- While sitting in my office during scheduled office hours, I run Skype so students may chat with me more conveniently. Some students will Skype with me who would not come to my office. Admittedly, most of the calls I receive come 24 hours or less before an assignment is due, asking for last minute instructions. However, some students are more planful. They call me while writing a draft of a paper. I "look over their shoulder" while they write in Writely, or write comments on a draft while they wait for me to send it back to them. Also, students seem to like to know I'm online, even if they don't chat with me. I use Skype to let them know I'm here.
- Extra Office Hours
- The night before a paper is due I'll start a large group chat and keep it open until midnight or 1 am. I'll call it something like "ENGL 101 Up All Night." I hope, at these times, to create a sense of community and support.
- Student Chats
- My students work in groups. Sometimes they have trouble scheduling meetings. Skype helps them conquer time and space. They can meet from anywhere there's an internet connection.
- Chat with a Librarian
- When students work on bibliographies, they sometimes chat with a generous librarian who sometimes helps me out. In the future, I'd like to record these chats so other students and I may review them.
- Guest Lecturer
- Guests may Skype into a class to give a talk or take questions from students.
I've heard that some teachers use Skype for language instruction. They have their students talk to students in other countries.
If you think of more ways to use Skype for teaching, please let me know!
get your own Skype "call me" button
Note: If Skype doesn't work for you, try Gizmo!