Is Skype Right for School?

Please Welcome Guest Blogger – Nancy Valencia

Is email the perfect tool for communicating with your professor? What if your course is online, but you feel the need to see the teacher in-person? I like to ask questions so that I understand assignments more in depth so I can better accomplish what I’m being asked. Sometimes email just doesn’t work.

That being said, I don’t think it is right for students to misuse email to make up excuses for a missed class or assignment. We live in a generation where we don’t get to know each other and develop a relationship of humans between student and professor. I think e-mail makes it easier to hide behind the computer and not have to go to campus or schedule meetings.

That’s why I’d like to suggest Skype as a communication tool for students and professors. It’s a dream come true for all the parents who work full time and can’t drive back and forth to campus. I, personally, would rather speak to a professor than to send e-mails back and forth. The truth is that I need to pay the bills and sometimes I have to put my job first. So, when I do need to speak to a teacher, it would be so much easier to do it in-person – through Skype.

I’d like to see a day, in the near future, where professors drop e-mails and use Skype instead. It would be like an online meeting which would be more humane than e-mails. Bottom line, our professors are not dumb, and they know we use email strategically. They know it’s easier for us to give them an excuse through email. Be upfront and simply say I procrastinated and never finished my work. Imagine all the excuses they have heard, over 100 times but with different tweaks here and there.

But if we really want to learn and accommodate our busy schedules, Skype might do the trick. Let’s say that we get snowed in for a week and can’t have class. Skype would be a perfect way to teach class instead of all this reading that drives us all mad. I suppose that is a whole other blog to write.


Please let me know your opinion!


  • Isaac Mathew

    Lets say said teacher agreed to Skype with their students. Would there be enough time in a teachers schedule to answer every students’ question? Lets say there were enough questions to take up all of the teachers time. Would it be an intrusion of the teachers time? So many emails can be answered with only just a few words. To take up that much time to answer all emails in person would be absurd.

    Although……. I do like the idea of having an option to sit in on a lecture by a professor through a video stream live. The concept would be great for those students who take the online class, or even the actual class for that matter, to be able to watch the teacher. It should also be made available to students to watch again if they missed the lecture on recorded video application of some sort as well.

    The REAL problem for full time working parents is that they do not have the time to attend class, right? Why not make the class readily available to the full time working student? To be able to watch it when they have the time at home. Maybe getting a chance to watch a lecture by the professor would create less misunderstanding about learning the material. Therefore, making less question necessary to begin with.

  • S3AN

    Personally I am a terrible writer and would like for there to be a better alternative to communicate with a professor rather than email. But their is regular voice calling where I would be better able to communicate. I feel as if the over-whelming awkwardness of visuals would ruin the conversation. Skype calls can be made at any point throughout the day and would anyone really be so welcoming to invite a stranger to take a look into another’s home to see personal items, or a messy room? Seeing things like this could completely warp a perception inside the others mind and think less or more of another. although I’m being quite harsh with the negatives of skyping one another, there are many benefits to utilizing this tool.The visual aspect could be useful with showing exactly whats going on where the two are on the same page in seconds. so in this case I would say not using this technology is a waste but there are certain instances where it could be applicable.

  • Aidan Ekelund

    With technologies becoming more advanced, i believe our academic learning experienced can also be advanced. Combining the ease of communication in Skype and online learning, a more effective protocol can be followed. I have a friend at university of Miami in Ohio and her online classes were via Skype. She would log on during her regularly scheduled class time and be face to face with over 30 people at once. Having the professor take up the main screen and lecture, other students had the ability to chat with both the professor and one another. Rather than participating in discussion board for attendance credit, the professor took attendance by seeing who was logged on. This can also be seen as a way to improve time management skills. Having an allotted time to log on and do work from home may be helpful to those who struggle with staying on top of their online classes. While it can be seen as an advantage, video chatting is a somewhat new concept and maybe not everybody has a computer that would allow them to participate. One way to slowly introduce the idea would be to offer office hours online via Skype rather than coming in person. Interactive learning via Skype would be more personable than standard online classes and I would like to see this idea put into place.