Skype is a great tool that allows for free video calling anywhere in the world. All you need to have is an internet connection, a video camera (either built in to your device or attached) and a microphone in order to “play” with it. When my youngest daughter lived in England and Ireland for a year, I was using Skype almost every morning. I was able to see her flat, meet her roommates and catch up on all of her adventures…well, at least the ones that she wanted to share :).
Skype has 4 free services:
- Instant Messaging for Computers and Mobile Phones
- Video Calling (one to one)
- Skype to Skype phone call
- Screen sharing
Here is a friendly YouTube video introduction to the world of Skype:
The following link will take you to a video by About.com – Frugal Living’s Ron Lipsky. He will take you through the first steps in becoming a Skype – user and making that first video call. (AND you get bonus funky background music!) http://video.about.com/frugalliving/How-to-Use-Skype-.htm
Now you are ready to jump into the world of video calling. Get those headsets ready and let’s talk!
- Go to http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/home. Hover over Get Skype on the top bright blue tool bar and then choose the appropriate listing under Computer. I have a PC so I chose Windows (NOT for Business).
- Follow the instructions to Download Skype onto your computer.
- Refer back to Ron’s video if necessary but just follow the steps to get yourself set up.
- Now it’s time to have some fun!
Connect: (Just 6 easy exercises)
- Log in your Skype user name to the Google Doc (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ap0DpzeSgNnFdGRFTnI2MV9SSTNsT19zdDhueFVwaEE#gid=0) set up for this class.
- Add contacts. My Skype user name is cathy.crosthwaite1.
- Practice a video call. Call your work associate across the library or the one across town. Heck, call your cousin on the other side of the world. It’s OK…it’s FREE!
- Try the Instant Message function.
- Try the Screen share function by looking at a photo or report with a friend or colleague.
- Tell us about your experience (good or bad) in your blog.
Skype from your Smartphone (http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/on-your-mobile/). Be sure that it is still a FREE service. You should be able to Instant Message and in most cases, video call. Let us know how it goes!
This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012. This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was authored by Cathy Crosthwaite for Townsville Library, Queensland Australia. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.