I am excited to bring you this guest post by Tara Miller. I really believe that technology like Skype will change the ways we get to visit and learn. It is an amazing option to be able to bring an author into a classroom via a tv or computer monitor and chat with her. Who would have thunk it?
Technology has the capability to connect people like never before. Cell phones link us to our loved ones from across time zones and hemispheres. E-mail links us to old classmates, teachers, and friends. Now, Skype sheds light on the possibility of not only providing another form of connection, but one that can inspire as well.
Skype is a software application that functions like a telephone call over the Internet. Video conferencing is also possible with Skype, making it a clearer and better version of chatting with a webcam on your computer. The best part about Skype, however, is that it is a low cost way to make long-distance connections. Calls between Skype users are free, which means that you can chat with someone halfway around the world without racking up expensive phone fees or burning through phone card minutes.
While the technology is certainly handy for friends to keep up with one another, the accessibility of Skype and its low costs also make it a perfect candidate for utilization in classrooms and businesses. Conference calling technology is already commonly used in classrooms to bring guest lecturers in to speak with students, but Skype can widen the scope of possible guest speakers because the guest lecturers would not need to be in the same time zone. In fact, the low cost of making international connections means that nearly any professional can participate in a Skype session, even those who live in another country. As an added bonus, those hosting and participating in Skype sessions would not have to be well-trained in technology, as Skype is refreshingly simple to set up.
By bringing authors into libraries through Skype, professionals into classrooms, experts into offices, and speakers into club meetings even if they are thousands of miles away, the audience can meet and get to know more of these people. For a child in a classroom, a simple Skype session with an astronaut, international business man, scientist, book editor, or politician can inspire them to consider careers they never before felt was within their reach. A regular Skype session with a club president can also help club members feel like their chapter is being acknowledged, inspiring them to keep giving their all in club activities. All in all, this type of technology can bring people and the feeling of possibility closer together.
By-line:This guest contribution was submitted by Tara Miller, who regularly writes for PsychologyDegree.net. She especially loves hearing back from her readers. Questions or comments can be sent to: email@example.com.