Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Telecommunications: “The science and technology of the communication of messages over a distance, especially using electric, electronic or electromagnetic impulses.” (Definition courtesy of

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): “VoIP is voice communications transmitted over the Internet.” (Definition courtesy of the network glossary found on

What do the definitions above REALLY mean? Ask yourself these two questions… How do I communicate? What device do I use to communicate with? Enough said. If you believe successful communication can only be achieved with your home phone, mobile phone or email – it’s time to change your way of thinking!

Take a look at three of the 21st century ways to communicate with others. Best of all… they are FREE.

Skype – software that allows you to make calls via the internet.
· You must download the software in order to use the internet calling features
· As long as you are dialing from one computer to another, calls are free (VoIP)
· Charges apply if you dial to an actual phone number!
· Webcam is optional – only if you want to see the person while you speak
· Built-in Microphone or Headset – personal preference. But, you must have a mic in order for the other party to hear you.

DimDim – web conferencing/video conferencing online application
· Allows you to share your desktop with others as you collaborate on projects
· Can easily chat and/or talk to your meeting attendees
· Great for meetings or for people in different locations who need to meet
· No downloads required
· Need help getting started? There is a 3 minute tutorial on the homepage.
· Did I mention… free! (as long as you don’t invite more than 20 people to your meeting!)

uStream - instant live broadcasts online
· No downloads required
· Must create an account
· Webcam necessary to broadcast
· Free!

How can you incorporate 21st century telecommunications into your classroom? Easy! Get on board with creating a global community right inside your class. Global communities? That is a blog post for another day.

1 comment:

Mrs. Edwards said...

Hey April! I think I am going to suggest the idea of promoting global communities through doing things like you talked about here when my school tried to figure out how to connect the Visual and Perfoming Arts Magnet with a Global Studies theme. I think students would get so much more from activities like this than from just reading about other areas in a book. I haven't yet figured out just what to do, but the conference and your post gave me some good ideas . . . :)