Skype in the Classroom: From Local to Global

Area(s) of Focus: technology
Division(s): Primary, Intermediate, Junior
Level(s): Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

This project used a collaborative inquiry approach to explore the use of Skype as a means of a teaching and learning tool in grades 4, 5 and 6 social studies, as well as Core French.

This TLC used a collaborative inquiry approach to explore the use of Skype as a means of a teaching and learning tool in grades 4, 5 and 6 social studies, as well as Core French. By using Skype as an educational tool, this TLC looked at how connecting with other classrooms in our district, province, country and beyond improves students’ understanding of Canadian communities. More so, this TLC looked at how connecting with other classrooms in the world impacts students’ understanding of being a part of a global community and Canada’s role in it. Not only did this project look at how this tool can be used to authenticate learning in social studies, but looked at how Skype can be used to build cultural awareness and understanding in French-speaking communities. This collaborative inquiry helped Limestone District School Board educators develop a partnership to meet instructional goals while effectively contributing to the board-wide adoption of technology. Unique to this project was the potential to share our professional learning with other teachers at our school and school board in English and in French. Most importantly, our learning around Skype as an educational tool will be shared here with the Ontario Teacher Federation (OTF).

Team Members

  • Jennifer Lisi

    Limestone District School Board

  • Christine Koch

    Limestone District School Board

  • Lana MacDonald

    Limestone District School Board

  • Shelley Dearmia

    Limestone District School Board

Professional Learning Goals

  • Worked collaboratively through the process of inquiry to explore the use of Skype in social studies and Core French
  • Built authentic connections with classrooms beyond our school
  • Provided students with rich, relevant tasks
  • Empowered students to understand that their community is a part of something much greater
  • Empowered students to speak French in authentic interactions
  • Developed a Personal Learning Network (PLN) with like-minded junior and Core French teachers
  • Shared findings and built capacity within schools, divisions and the district
  • Shared findings with the OTF

Activities and Resources

  • TLC met initially to review professional learning goals and focus of the project
  • ­ TLC developed a common awareness and understanding of Skype as an education tool
  • ­ TLC aligned curriculum with Skype activities such as Mystery Skype, guest speakers and virtual field trips
  • ­ TLC developed pre-Skype call activities, during Skype call activities, and post-Skype call reflections and activities in social studies and Core French
  • ­ TLC shared with colleagues and the OTF

Unexpected Challenges

  • Limited inconsistent contact with virtual tour opportunities
  • Many virtual tours do not  align well with curriculum
  • Limited availability when it comes to booking virtual tours
  • Often last-minute bookings
  • Virtual tours would be better if there was a preview
  • Often time-consuming finding resources

Enhancing Student Learning and Development

This project contributed to enhancing 21st-century student learning and development by valuing students’ role in learning. In this project, student learning was optimized and amplified when their learning was authenticated through real-time communication via Skype. Students’ critical-thinking skills and social skills developed as they interacted with others. Students’ understanding of communities other than their own grew exponentially. This project will contribute to students’ ability to see themselves as a part of a global community.


  • This project has been shared with our school staff
  • The target audience has been teachers K-12, but specifically K-8 at our site
  • Our format for sharing has been a collaborative Group via Office 360
  • A second format for sharing in a Google Slides presentation will also be shared with OTF members

Project Evaluation

The project was deemed a success as all goals were achieved.

More so, teachers who had not previously known about or implemented Skype in their teaching practice did so with the support of other teachers. Teachers had an opportunity to explore all of Skype’s education platforms and find various ways to integrate this interactive tool into various subject areas.

Resources Used

Getting started using Skype in the classroom