Skype is a free software that you can download from the Internet that allows you to make phone calls over the Internet. Skype-to-Skype calls are free of charge, but calls to other landlines and cell phones will have standard rates. You can also use Skype for video conferencing, and you can also use it to talk to a whole group of people at once. For those of us who have a cell phone, you can access Skype on your phone, providing your phone is capable of doing so. For those with Skype on their computer, a microphone is absolutely necessary for audio communications. Microphones usually must be bought, but some computers have them built-in.

Skype in Education

We are currently trying to find a use for Skype in our classroom. We have been trying to Skype with another school to discuss Web 2.0 and 21st Century Learning Skills. There have been many wikis written about Skyping in education. Another useful resource is the Skype in the Classroom blog. We are using the site to contact other schools about their views on Skype in the classroom.

Things that you can accomplish with Skype include:

- Recording images and video clips of conversations, and video conferences.
- Sending text, image, and video files instantly to a second party.
- Sending word processing, spreadsheets, and desktop publishing files.

Screen Sharing

One of the features in the newest version of Skype is screensharing, which allows two Skype users to share a live representation of each other's computer screen. This has great applications for Web 2.0 collaboration.

Using Skype

Now that you have an overview of what Skype is and how it used, go ahead and create an account. Follow these easy steps to set-up Skype on your computer.

Step One
This video will tell you what to do when you first begin using Skype. It is helpful if you want to learn how to create an account. It also helps you to learn how to connect online to be able to chat and use Skype. It's great for a beginner who has never created or used a Skype account.

Step Two
This video helps to explain how to search. The video takes a step by step approach to teach the learner how to look for their friends on Skype so that they can begin chatting.

Step Three
In these instructions how to make a call is explained. If you are looking for what to do when you are connected to someone through a web cam or phone call this is the video to watch.

Step Four
This is the final video that will teach you how to log out of Skype. If you are already logged in and confused how to quit, watch this video.