Welcome to School Library Journal readers!

If you’re stopping by after reading my recent article on using Skype in libraries, welcome!

Skype also is an excellent tool for bringing in experts/other librarians into workshops you are presenting, by the way, even if they can’t attend in person. 

One of the best things about using Skype is it brings you and your students closer to a global community.    When students are having to figure out what time zone someone else is in to set up a meeting, or talking to someone “live” from another state or country, their sense of the world expands tremendously.  When they can speak to an author or see the author via a webcam, their sense of what a writer is deepens and becomes more personal.

I’d love to hear other ideas about how you’ve tried Skype in your libraries/classrooms!  Thanks for stopping by.

4 thoughts on “Welcome to School Library Journal readers!

  1. “One of the best things about using Skype is it brings you and your students closer to a global community.”

    Unfortuantely, Skype is non-free software which means that in an important way, Skype actually negates community through the EULA and non-disclosure agreements.

    Though I’m not personally familiar with free alternatives, I’ve heard they exist. I think Ekiga is one.

  2. Peter,

    Skype is a free download and is free to use for computer to computer calls and conversations, whether local or global.

    They do charge a minimal fee if calling landlines or cell lines. I’ve used it quite a bit for overseas conversations with other educators and it’s been a great avenue for that.

    I’ll check out Ekiga–I’m not familiar with it.

    Always good to learn about new tools…

  3. Great article, Carolyn! Here’s another wrinkle for you. My mothership institution, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, prohibits the use of Skype on any University-owned computer due to security-related concerns. Skype apparently leaves computers vulnerable to hostile external takeover and misuse. This concern, though, hasn’t stopped me from using it at home from time to time. The idea is great and its time has definitely come. Fingers crossed for a good open source product and better security.

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