Tech for Teach

Tuesday is for Tools: Skype Group Video calls

Skype-logo-EPS-AI.PNG-11 Meeting online with other teachers or with students in a group, using video, has become easier with the new version of Skype. There are many obvious reasons to use this kind of interaction online, so I won’t go into them. Instead, better to get you up and running as quickly as possible.

Until recently Skype Group Calls were a complicated business. But Microsoft, owner of Skype, have been changing their tune on many fronts, and are now much more open than they used to be. That means anyone, Mac users, Windows users (8.1 ) and even tablet and smartphone users can now do group video calling with Skype.

Make sure you are running the latest version of Skype software on your device. (In the Menu, under Skype, Check for Updates.) This is Skype for Modern Windows. This requires that you have Windows 8.1. Older versions of Skype may work, but are not guaranteed.

Before you start a group call, you need to set up your Contacts.  One person in the group acts as the “hub” and invites all the others to the call. She has to have everyone in her contact list. All the other people only need her name in their contact list.

skypegroupcallOne person from the group should follow these instructions to start the call. Once everyone is in the call, you should be able to see all of their faces. Watch this 46 second 日本語のビデオ to get all the details in Japanese.

Remember, speak clearly, and make your pauses longer than usual. Group video calls feel funny because people interrupt each other more often. Be clear when you are finished speaking.

Once your Skype session is set up, your screen should look like this. You can exchange files and work on a common whiteboard as well as talk to each other. Good luck!



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