the nursery in one of my schools wanted to video call another local nursery, i tested it all and it works but they never used it.
I only installed skype on the IWB machine in the nursery and none of the other machines have it on. I can never see primary schools wanting it on all of the machines, the only use i can see for it education is to talk to other schools.
I must admit Skype was a major God send during the 'snow' period, saved even leaving the house and didn't affect the phone bill!
Edit. After reading the recommendations in section 5 of this Skype security paper I have updated my MST.
Just a word of warning form someone who has just struggled with Skype in our environment.
We are running Microsoft Threat Management Gateway 2010 (TMG2010) as our Web Filter and Firewall (ISA2006 repalcement)
Skype primarily uses P2P technology to connect and communicate with other users. Part of this means that it quite happily uses a random port to connect to the IP address of the client which you are communicating with. Obviously you can tell Skype in the settings to only use a specific port but still a firewall rule has to be created to allow that port access to any IP address external to your network.
To get around this, Skype can 'fall back' to using HTTPS over port 443. This is where our problem arises.
TMG2010 has has a nifty ability to inspect HTTPS traffic to ensure that it is what it says it is. Obviously Skype isnt true HTTPS traffic, therefore TMG blocks it.
You can disable the HTTPS inspection, but this means that in TMG you are also disabling the filtering of all HTTPS web traffic, so its possible to access blocked sites, for example HTTP://playboy.com is blocked as pornography, but HTTPS://playboy.com is accessible. Not the best really!
Its my opinion that Skype is not suitable for anything other than personal, home use. In a corporate or educational environment where the protection of data and\or the protection of minors is paramount, Skype is a pain in the back side!
I did a little readingon this subject a few weeks back, the following article caught my eye:
Becta Article - See Issues Section
Becta Emerging Technologies - Network and wireless analysis: Voice over IP (VoIP) (March 2009)
Hope this helps somewhat,Quote:
As a service, we’ve evaluated the use of skype and unfortunately we are unable to implement it. This is because of a variety of reasons including :
· Implementation is an ‘all or nothing’ scenario – it cannot be tied down to just teachers or schools.
· There are security implications in using this service (i.e. super-node may allow penetration of the network by unauthenticated users). This is not helped by skype using its own security protocols which are closed so cannot be assessed.
· The way that it uses it connects using a delegated super-node may have inadverse impact on the network / clients which are participating in it (as it uses super-nodes to connect)
We should, however, be implementing Microsoft Office Communications Server in the near future, which will allow us the granularity of using chat protocols with the teachers etc.
we use skype portable for our AHT's to interact with the Kenya Schools Project guys that are based in Kenya alot cheaper for us and also cheaper for them as they have limited funds in the first place!
And we use skype portable with a little XML file that logs them in under the school account - easy to set up and even easier to deploy - just give execute permissions to the teachers that need to use it and email them a link to the .exe
We had a really good example of Skype use in one of our schools recently.
The school is next door to a graveyard and the wireless network can be used in part of the graveyard ... and this proved to be really handy for one school project. They had been to see The Lion King in London and it was used as the core theme for a number of pieces of work (more information at NThink- Just another weblog) but part of it had included the pupils writing alternative endings or re-writing key scenes. These were used as part of an 'African Showcase' and ...
Quite a good idea really and other ideas have included a virtual visit from Santa, bringing in specialists who might not be able to visit the school, author interviews, etc.Quote:
some of the class wrote spooky settings about hiding from Scar in the local graveyard. As part of the showcase it was decided that these settings would be read out, we wanted the audience to get a true understanding of what the graveyard was like so this is where Skype came in!
During the show several children crept out to the graveyard with a laptop, webcam and teaching assistant. Since the graveyard is so close to school it was covered by our wireless network so the children were able to connect to Skype and call a laptop in the hall that was linked to a projector. During the show the children in the graveyard ‘Skyped’ the children and parents in the hall and then read their settings on the big screen. It proved very popular with both the children and parents.
There are other solutions that can do this (Click2Meet, FlashMeeting, JANET Video Conferencing Service) but Skype is a quick and easy way of doing it I suppose.
I assume you all saw that this thread was from four years ago? :p
yeah but it is still a valid question therefore got answers
Should we stop updating dictionaries because the chap who first wrote it is long dead?
Some of the staff here are using Skype in order to communicate with another school in Kenya (I think, I really should pay more attention...) and are happy with the result.
As for internal communications, I'm keen on implementing Openfire and Spark. Especially as only certain classrooms have a telephone - it should make getting hold of people a lot easier.