For this task I had the opportunity to connect with Tom using Skype. It was nice to be able to communicate with another educator and classmate using a video chat. One of the best parts of using this type of technology in an online course is the ability to create an authentic feeling. There seems to be a more natural flow of conversation when speaking to someone through a video chat, then through text. It’s much easier and efficient to share information using this method. It often takes me twice as long to type a message because of concerns with how it may be perceived. Using Skype can save time while ensuring the correct message is being delivered.
While Skype can be a great way to bring outside presenters into the classroom, it can also serve as a tool to connect students with each other and the teacher in an online classroom. Similar to a break room discussion, instructors could set up a Skype room to allow students to connect throughout the semester. Students can get to know the students in class and create a better association with the discussion boards. Also, instructors could use Skype as a way to have meetings with students helping to create an authentic online classroom. For students taking their first online course, it could ease some of their concerns with not feeling connected like they would in a traditional classroom.
One assignment that I could see Skype being used for in my online classroom is for job interviews. Instead of students needing to come into school to complete a mock interview, I could have students use Skype to conduct the interview. This also gives students the experience of doing video chat interviews that are becoming more popular amongst human resource managers.