Loads of people are talking about Skype in the Classroom. Skype in the Classroom is a completely free service that allows teachers to connect with other educators around the world through voice and/or video chat via Internet (VoIP). Simply sign up, connect a microphone or web cam, and start chatting away! It could really put a new spin on the old “classroom pen pal” activity! There are literally hundreds of other project ideas and resources available to start using this in your classroom soon!
(Yes, generally speaking, our District’s network is fast enough to allow limited VoIP at this time. Yes, we are hoping to upgrade to even faster connections to allow this sort of thing on a much wider scale. For now, as long as you’re doing an occasional whole-class activity and don’t mind an image that’s “a little jumpy,” you should be just fine.)
(Yes, I have a web cam that District #205 teachers can check out for this activity. If you want your own, I have several suggestions for web cams that would work great. Most are between $20-$50. Even the best web cams are less that $80 now!)