What it is Skype?

Skype is a software application that allows the user to make calls over the internet (Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP). Calls made to other Skype users are free and may include video.

Using Skype

(see also Skype)

What you will need:

Desktop webcam - available to be signed out from the library.
Laptop webcam - available to be signed out from the library. Once it is plugged into your USB port, contact Help 5485 so that they can install it.

Microphone - available to be signed out from the library.

  1. Contact Help to request Skpe is downloaded to your computer.
  2. Go to http://www.skype.com/help/guides/startskype/ and click on "Launch It From Here"

First time - create a Skype account:
Teachers (only) should create a Skype account that will be used in class projects (i.e. students will not have accounts but use Skype under the direction of a teacher).

Teachers - use this format for Sype account name:

As you create your account:
Uncheck: sign me in when SKYPE starts
Uncheck: start SKYPE when computer starts

Link to: Create a New Skype Account
Enter Full Name: (enter your first and last name)
Enter Skype Name: e.g. kennedy_smith_t or mcdevitt_smith_t
Create Password.
Use your Waltham Public Schools e-mail as your default e-mail (so that teachers can find each other).
Uncheck: Sign me in when SKYPE Starts

Hint: enter your Skype name and password into a new Note in Microsoft Outlook.

Using Skype - see Skype's Guide

Examples of using in the elementary schools

FAQs about using Skype

How many people can video chat at one time? 2 (see also http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=192041)

What kind of calls can I make with free Skype? See http://skype.com/allfeatures/skypetoskypecall/

How do I initiate screen sharing on Skype for Windows?
Select a contact you would like to start screensharing with. You can then start a session by:
Clicking "Share" button on the text input area and select "Share your screen", or go to the menu Call and click on 'Share your screen'. Alternatively, you can right-click any of your contacts and choose "Share Your Screen".
You can opt to select the whole screen by activating "Full Screen" or only part of it, by activating "Share Selection", to customize what portion of the screen you want to share.

What if we are having trouble with each caller seeing the video? If you are using a school computer, call the Help Desk and ask them to turn down the hardware acceleration (video card).

Skype's FAQ page.

Suggestions for teachers

Skype is a way for teachers to introduce their students to a world way beyond their classrooms.

Further Reading:

50 Awesome Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom
Questioning the Potential Value of Skype and Videoconferencing in the Classroom?