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Skype in the Classroom

Activity Plan

ISTE Standards for Students

Digital Citizen 2b
Students engage in positive, safe, legal
All About Animals
with Skype in the Classroom
and ethical behavior when using
technology, including social interactions
online or when using networked devices.
Knowledge Constructor 3a Webpage:
Students plan and employ effective
research strategies to locate information
Subjects: May be adapted to fit all content areas
and other resources for their intellectual Skills: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Citizenship
or creative pursuits.
Global Collaborator 7c
Students contribute constructively to
project teams, assuming various roles
and responsibilities to work effectively
toward a common goal. Learning Objectives
 Students will use speaking and listening skills to communicate with their
ISTE Standards for Educators
peers as well as another class during a skype call.
Collaborator 4c
Use collaborative tools to expand  Students will use research skills to prepare in advance prior to the skype call.
students’ authentic, real-world learning
experiences by engaging virtually with  Students will generate ideas and questions prior to participating in the
experts, teams and students, locally and Skype call.
 Students will gain new knowledge about the skype call topic/animal and
Designer 5b
Design authentic learning activities that
relate it to what they are learning in school.
align with content area standards and  Students will summarize and reflect about what they learned.
use digital tools and resources to
maximize active, deep learning.  Students will expand their learning by sharing their ideas with others.
Designer 5c
Explore and apply instructional design
principles to create innovative digital
learning environments that engage and
support learning.
Before the live activity
Step 1: Activate background knowledge
For younger students
Divide students into small groups. Tell students they are going to play Animal
Charades. They are to think of their favorite animal and take turns in their group
acting out their choice until other students guess the animal correctly.
Call on students to answer this prompt: What did you need to know in order to act
like your animal?

You might say: You already know a lot about animals! Today we are going to
learn more by connecting with an expert who will teach us about

For students of all ages

Create a KWL chart (What I Know-What I Want to know- What I Learned). Call on
students to share what they already know about the Skype call topic and record
answers in the K section of the chart. Next call on students to share their ideas
about what they would like to know and record answers in the W section of the
chart. Share that the class will complete the L section after the Skype call to reflect
about what they learned.
Next allow time to research items listed in the W section of the chart as a class, in
small groups, or individually. Allow students to share what they learned during their
research time and allow students to add any additional questions or topics in the W
section that may have been activated as they learned more about the topic during
their research time.

Step 2: Brainstorm questions

You might say: Now that we have considered what you already know and
researched some information about what we want to know, let’s brainstorm
some questions we would like to ask during the skype call.

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Some ideas
 Begin the list of interview questions by using any items left in the W section
of the chart that the class did not find during their research time.
 Call on students as a whole group and keep track of question ideas in a
Word document, PowerPoint, OneNote notebook, or Sway.
 Divide students into groups of 3 and allow each group to submit 1-2
questions. Add these questions to a Word document, PowerPoint, OneNote
notebook or Sway by collaborating online or submitting the questions to the
teacher. These can also be printed and given to students assigned to ask the
questions during the call.

STEP 3: Prepare for your Skype call!

Preparation for the call is important. In addition to preparing your students, it is a
good idea to communicate in advance with your Skype connection. Share your
goals for the call and if there are specific topics or learning standards you would like
them to address with students. You can also let the guest speaker know in advance
if you would like them to give your students a special challenge to work on after the
The following are helpful resources as you prepare for the Skype call activity:

Top 10 tips for exemplary Skype call etiquette

Students’ roles during the call
Room set up guide

During the live activity

Step 1: Prepare your class
Communicate your expectations for student behavior. Remind students they are
representing your class, school, state, and possibly country. Call on students to
share ideas about how they should/should not act during the call.
Model and have students practice active listening.

Step 2: Connect
Ensure you are logged in to your Skype account and ready to connect at the
scheduled time. Direct students to smile and wave hello at the beginning of the

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Step 3: Facilitate
Throughout the call, be prepared to help direct the flow of the Skype session and
assist any students who are nervous or need reminders about their role. Be aware
of any students who need reminders about active listening. Be mindful of the length
of the call and be ready to help with the closure of the call. Consider taking pictures
during the call to share with your students’ families and social media using

After the live activity

Step 1: Expand the experience
Speaking activity

You might say: That was a great experience! With a shoulder partner, share
your favorite part of this Skype call.

Writing activity
Give students time to journal about what they learned during the Skype call that
they did not know prior to the experience.
You might also consider a prompt that ties back to your content standards.

Step 2: Reflect
Refer back to the KWL chart created at the beginning of the lesson. Call on students
to share some of the ideas they wrote about in their journal and these responses to
the chart in the “L” section.
Next, give students time to share their learning using Paint 3D.

You might say: Now’s your chance to demonstrate what you learned and
share your ideas in a really creative way. Using Paint 3D, create one of the
animals you learned about during today’s Skype call.

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After students create their animal in Paint 3D, give students time to present what
they created with the class or within a small group. You might want to include some
examples of what they created in a Sway along with any pictures taken during the
Skype call. If you have permission to share your students’ photos, you can share the
Sway with your guest speaker as well to thank him/her for him/her time, or you can
send him/her a thank you message using Skype’s chat feature.

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