Using Skype to connect real life to the theory!

Interactive online technology has opened the world to our classroom through Skype™. I can now invite guest speakers and experts into the classroom.
In one of my OT courses this year I interviewed two eminent occupational therapy authors using this approach and then watched the interviews in class with the students.
I used eCamm recorder™ to pre-record interviews on Skype™ and in addition to playing them in class I was able to upload the file to the learning management (LMS) system for repeated viewing.
My goal was to show the students the people who wrote the text, so that they might think more deeply about their words when they read the textbook, rather than view pre-reading as a “burden”. I used the interview to ask questions about expand on topics that were not included in the text.
The pre-recorded interviews provided a scaffolding of learning for the students and the disucssion in class enabled students to explore concepts more fully with the instructor. Using the interviews brought theory to life and encouraged students and educators to learn together with the invited expert.
This week I am preparing to interview an OT colleague live during class. Students will be able to directly interact with an OT, and ask her about practice in her part of the world. This will be different from last time, as I controlled the interview and played it to students, this time students will be actively involved and the session will unfold on the day. With permission of the interviewee I can record the session and load this on to the LMS for future viewing.
Using technology to enhance OT education is my passion. I wonder what other ideas people might have to bring theory and practice together through technology in the classroom?

6 thoughts on “Using Skype to connect real life to the theory!

  1. Anonymous

    I use the ecamms product to and love it. I did find that it took some tinkering with the setting to get a nice quality end result. Have yours been pretty smooth so far?-Brad (@SPOTonChicago)

  2. Hi Brad, I think I might have been lucky with the settings first time around 🙂 Do you know of an equivalent product for PCs? My colleague would like to find one.Cheers, Anita

  3. Anonymous

    I'll do some checking around and let you know. You may want to check out Steve Garfield's new book, I've heard great things about that.-Brad (@SPOTonChicago)

  4. Good for you for livening up the texts. I'm starting to add in videos and podcasts to my blog, and I think those definitely would have enhanced some lectures in school. Especially since you can't always arrange for a guest speaker to fly across the world for your class.

  5. Thanks Cheryl, I really like doing things differently. I also like students to know the people behind the names we cite! They are real, they are OTs and they are who our students can be! Cheers, Anita

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