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Trend Alert: Skype at School

Photo by Motionblur for Flickr.com (CC Licensed)

An expert on China describing the Great Wall? A meteorologist explaining the earth's atmosphere? Teachers are still leading the class, but for today's kids, Skype is changing the learning game. “Using Skype in the Classroom (SITC) is interactive and brings the world right up close,” says Sheryl Abshire, Ph.D., chief technology officer for Calcasieu Parish Public Schools in Lake Charles, LA. Here's how to make the most of it.

Easy access SITC has ready-to-go links the likes of NASA, Penguin Books, and The New York Philharmonic; true experts are a click away.

Parlez-vous français? Kids can be connected with native speakers and the conversations can then be replayed to reinforce learning.

Share the wealth The acrobat troupe from the circus can only come to one school in the district? The others can Skype in to learn to juggle.

Travel the world Why be limited to a field trip? Skype lets kids peek inside an actual yurt, for instance, and hear from the people who live there.

Author, author! After reading a story in class, conferencing in the author to learn more about his inspiration is the next natural step.

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