• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!


Language- Skype 349

Page history last edited by bris1181@... 9 years, 11 months ago



~ Edited by Jessica Bristol, Ashely Fern, and Allison Roiko 


What is Skype?


Skype is a service which allows you to make video calls, use instant messaging, share files with other Skype users,  and make voice calls, all for free! In order to use Skype, you must first download Skype, which can be done at their website, www.skype.com.  After downloading and creating an account, you can talk to anyone who has another Skype account for free, anywhere in the world. You can also call cell phones and sent text messages when you purchase “Skype credits.”


Uses of Skype


     The free Skype program allows for Skype to Skype calls, One on One video calls, instant messaging, and screen sharing. Screen sharing is a program that lets you show images and websites to the other person on the line without needing to email the link or image to the person. They have three different upgrades for which a person has to pay. The pay as you go allows Skype users to pay 2.3 cents per minute to call people who do not have Skype, SMS, and forward calls. Then if a person wanted a subscription to Skype, the cost of calls to Non-Skype users would go down to 1.3 cents per minute. They can also choose unlimited calling. Skype premium is the most expensive and allows unlimited calls in the US and Canada and Group Calling and Group screen sharing.

     On the computer, Skype is a free program, however; Skype programs can be purchased for a cell phone, a land line telephone, and even for a TV set.

 Similar to Facebook, people can find other people through Skype and add them to their list of contacts. The contacts list can show whether or not people on their list of contacts are online and using Skype. If the person is online, the user can simply click on the name and choose whether they would like to instant message them, or call them. They can also decide to use use video chat with a click of a button.

     Changing the language of the Skype program is very easy. Simply go to tools and click "Change Language" and choose the language that is desired.  For instant messaging, it is possible in the Spanish language to create the vowels with accents by pressing the control button, the apostrophe button, then, the “a” button.  Then touch any of the vowels and the letter will be typed with the accent above.




History of Skype


    The first videophone was called a telephonoscope and was created in the early 1900’s. In 1927, AT&T created the ikonophone which used 18 frames and occupied half of a room. The world’s first public videophone service was developed by Dr. George Schubert in 1936. The service linked Berlin to other cities in Europe through telephone booths. In the 1960’s AT&T developed the Picturephone.

    The Intellect was a prototype wireless videophone created in 1993 by inventor Daniel A. Henderson and included a still image and non-live video clip transfers. This invention led to the created of camera phones in the early 2000’s.

    Skype was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis who worked with the software created by Estonians Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu and Jaan Tallinn. The original name was “Sky peer-to-peer” which was abbreviated to “Skyper” and eventually to just “Skype.” The offices of Skype are based in Luxembourg, but there are extensions throughout Europe, the United States, and Asia.

     In 2005, video chat was introduced and Skype reached 100 million registered users. From 2006 through 2008 Skype had Skypecasts that allowed up to 100 people to participate in conference calls but this program has now been discontinued. In 2008, the founders left the company and new CEO Josh Silverman took over in Februrary 2008. On May 10th, 2011 Microsoft Corporation bought Skype and acquired all of the company’s technologies.

     The future of Skype is now rooted in its partnership with Microsoft. It will focus on integrating with Microsoft programs such as Windows Phones and Xbox consoles. It also will work closely with Facebook to improve the social networking experience.





    As of September 2011 Skype had 663 million registered users. In January 2011, after the release of video calling on the Skype client for iPhone, Skype reached a record 27 million simultaneous online users. This record was broken with 29 million simultaneous online users on February 21st, 2011, and then on march 28th, 2011 with 30 million online users.

    On May 10th, 2011 the Microsoft Corporation agreed to purchase Skype Communications for $8.5 billion US dollars. The company was incorporated as a division of Microsoft and Microsoft acquired all of the company's technologies on October 13, 2011. 





    Skype is an ingenious strategy in order to excite students about learning Spanish by implementing meaningful connections.  Students may create pen pals with other students their own age, but then are given the opportunity to talk face-to-face, creating an immersion setting.  

    The four vital areas of knowledge in a foreign language classroom are community, connections, culture, and comparisons, all which are thoroughly accomplished through Skype.  Students may discuss matters that pertain to their personal passions, all the while utilizing the target language in order to internalize the learned content.  They can not only learn about the interests of their friend through Skype, but also discover a completely diverse culture and lifestyle, and compare the two, rather than simply reading about similarities and differences in a textbook.

     One Spanish teacher, Jon Pennington, decided to utilize Skype in his classroom, and the effect was incredible!  One student remarks:

On Skype, people are going to say things to you that you don’t know. Whether it’s typing or pronouncing- And because somebody is actually talking to you, you are more tempted to look it up to see what it means and care about what they are saying rather than just ignoring them.”
-Jake, Spanish 1 Student (http://www.jdpennington.com/?p=1050)


      In an authentic context, students are able to learn content vocabulary.  Instead of simply given a list to memorize, students experience a real-life situation where it is required to use the specific vocabulary.

      If a larger number class is collaborating together, more organization is required.  The teacher may have students prepare questions in advance in order to be ready to talk to the native speaker.  However, in small groups, a topic may be given to students, and then allow them to speak naturally to the native speaker.



  1. Using Skype, students can chat with international students around the world, learning about the cultural aspects of a language by learning the slang and idioms that the student may not here in the classroom setting. Teachers can also check and assess the students by having the students show their conversation history with their foreign pen pals. 
  2. Teachers could also have guest lectures from international teachers or experts familiar with a country that speaks the language being learned in the class. Either in English or in the target language, the guest speaker can give insight to the culture and give genuine information that students would find relevant and interesting.
  3. Students could also use Skype to contact other students in the class. For example, if a group of students have a large class project but have difficulties finding a good meeting time, they can use group conversations to communicate with each other simultaneously.
  4.  Skype can be used in a foreign language classroom is to create a virtual field trip. It is very difficult for language teachers to present their students with a live authentic experience of the second language’s culture. However, someone within this culture can use a webcam connected with Skype to invite students into the everyday activities of their culture. For example, a chef could Skype a class while he teaches them to cook a traditional meal. Also, a salsa dancer could show students the basic steps to dancing salsa through Skype. A historian could walk students through the ruins of the Aztec capital Teotihuacan or a priest could share with students about the hidden treasures of Europe’s cathedrals. Another student from China could invite a class to celebrate the New Year with him. 
  5. A teacher can use skype to conference with parents who are unable to attend a school conference physically.
  6.  Teachers can skype other teachers in the United States or abroad to compare teaching strategies and activities.
  7.  Teachers can tutor students at home who need extra help or are unable to attend class. This could be especially useful with a student who is home schooled or taking online courses. 




How Does Skype Compare to Competitors?

     While Skype is an extremely popular Voice over Internet Protocol system, it is not the only system available. Skype competes with other instant messaging networks and applications. Many of Skype's competitors also include video conferencing as a feature. Like Skype, iChat is an instant messaging software application with video calling and conferencing capabilities. Unlike Skype, iChat is used exclusively for a Mac OS X operating system. There are some unique pictures and interfaces built into iChat that are not available on Skype. GoogleChat is a client application offered by Google that also offers video calling and conferencing. Users of GoogleChat require a browser and gmail login. When comparing Skype with its competitors, one may consider the quality of the video image and the audio. How Skype compares to its competitors is a matter of opinion and experience. The compatibility between your operating system and the Voice over Internet Protocol system as well as the compatibility between the VoIP systems of callers are essential for video calling to occur, and may make your decision of what system to use quite simple. Otherwise, you may want to consider exploring VoIP systems to decide which system will help you engage in activities most effectively.  


Additional Teaching Resources



            -Here is a site that describes Mary Barr, lecturer in African American Studies, as she integrates Skype into her video conference by showing the video “Hoop Dreams.”



            -Here 7th graders utilize Skype by contacting a museum in Canada in collaboration with their content.



            -Here a foreign language teacher integrates Skype in the form of conversation with native speakers.  There is a video that explains how she creates international links in her classroom through Skype and creates incredible learning. 



            -This is a website that gives explicit instructions on how to integrate Skype into the classroom.



            -Here are 50 awesome ways to integrate Skype into the classroom.


This site includes numerous examples of how to use skype in the classroom.


This site is about how to set up skype in the classroom and what materials a teacher will need in order to use the technology successfully.


This site can be used to find language exchanges on skype








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