The purpose of this post is to help people get started using Skype. If you are already using Skype for your personal learning or with your students please share your advice for new Skype users by leaving a comment.
Skype is a free application that allows you to call people from all over the world using the internet. When you call another user that has Skype you talk or chat for free. Best of all you can tell when another user is online and what their status is so you know if they are available.
To set up Skype on your computer you need to download and install it from here on Skype’s website. Once installed follow the instructions to set up your Skype account. For talking I like to use a Logitech USB headsets because the system easily detects them without any issues.
Once set up I recommend that you change your privacy settings to only people in my contact list to ensure better control of who can ring or chat with you. This is done by clicking on Tools > Options > Privacy Tab.
Adding People To Your Skype Account
To contact people you will need to add their username to your Skype account. The easiest way of finding someone’s Skype username is to contact them to ask if they mind adding you to their Skype account and if so will they you their username.
You add people to your account by:
- Clicking on Add
- Insert their username and then click find
- Once you’ve found their username you then need to click on Add Skype Contact
- On the Say Hello screen I recommend you add a message if you don’t know the person well and then click OK.
- Their status in Skype will be grey with a ? mark until they approve your contact.
- Occasionally they won’t receive your notification to add to their contact list – in this situation just ask them to also add your username to their account.
It’s always good etiquette to send a person a chat message to start up a conversation rather than just ring to speak. This way you’re not interrupting them if they’re busy and they can set up their headset if it’s not plugged in.
Once you’ve engaged in conversation if you want to change to talk ask them nicely if they mind.
Please leave a comment if you can help out with any of the following:
- What tips would you give new Skype users?
- What advice would you give to educators who want to use Skype in their classroom?
- Can you share links to posts on your blog on how you have used Skype to connect with other classrooms or people? — so other educators can read what your students gained from these interactions.
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