Skype

Common Sense Media says

Video-calling site keeps people connected, most of the time.

Age

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Skype gives kids and families the ability to communicate face-to-face from any location; used in the right ways, it can bring people together.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The site occasionally reminds users to upgrade to a premium account.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

It's possible for strangers to attempt to add your kids as contacts, although they'd have to find their names or usernames to do so. If your kids have their own profiles, only fill in the required information; more details aren't necessary. Make sure your kids understand that they should not accept any unfamiliar friend requests, or even any friend requests at all, without you taking a look first. Teens may be mature enough to sign up for their own accounts, but younger kids can use parent accounts to talk to family and friends for maximum safety.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Skype is another way people can communicate online through video or by regular phone calls. It's reasonably intuitive to use. Although it occasionally has technical glitches, it can be great for families with a member who is often traveling or is living in another location. Keeping in touch with extended family and faraway friends can help kids feel connected to the people in their lives. For safest use, supervise your teens' Skype chats and have your younger kids use your account.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • presenting to others
  • speaking

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building
  • listening
  • speaking

Collaboration

  • group projects

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Skype can be an incredibly fun way to extend learning beyond the walls of your classroom. Although today's students may be more accustomed to digital communication, live video chats will still draw them in.

Learning Approach

Beyond bringing the outside world to your classroom, you can help students learn some of the ins and outs of video conferencing -- an important 21st-century communication skill.

Support

Skype's FAQ is very detailed and takes the guesswork out of making a call. Skype in the Classroom, a section aimed at educators, also offers lesson plans and additional ideas for application.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • presenting to others
  • speaking

Skills

Communication

  • friendship building
  • listening
  • speaking

Collaboration

  • group projects

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Kids can improve their communication skills by using Skype. They'll learn to carefully listen to the person speaking through the screen and to think about their responses. Reading people's faces and hearing their tone of voice are dimensions of communication that email and text messaging don't capture. This site can help kids learn the importance of face-to-face interaction. Skype isn't perfect, but it can be an amazing tool for kids to learn about communicating with others.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

SKYPE is a website that allows users to communicate using video and voice calls. Its basic features are free, but you also can access additional features such as group video calls or SMS, either by paying as you go or subscribing. To begin, download Skype onto your computer; when it's done installing, a log-in screen will appear. You can sign in using a Skype, Facebook, or Microsoft account. To add contacts, click the \"Add Contacts\" button and then type the person's name, Skype handle, or email address into the search box that pops up. Once you've added contacts, click on the name of the person you'd like to call; if there's a green light next to their name, they're already signed in and ready to receive your call. They'll answer, and you should be able to hear them. Turn on your webcam, if you have one, and you'll be able to see the person you're connected to. During your video call, you also can share screens or send files to the person you're talking to.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Skype is an incredible idea, and when it works, it's a world-changing free resource that's opened up communication for millions of people. But it can sometimes seem like one of those modern conveniences that's more trouble than it's worth. It's notoriously buggy; sometimes calls get dropped for no reason, or connectivity is terrible at random. It can be difficult to predict how well a Skype session will go for these reasons, but it's more likely to run smoothly if you have new, high-quality equipment. However, even at its fussiest, Skype has the potential to bring together families and other groups of people. There's nothing like face-to-face communication, and Skype's video calls get close to replicating that experience.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the ways people have used technology to communicate through history. What did they do before Skype, before email, before telephones? Explain that, for many years, the only way people could stay in touch was by writing letters. Ask your kids if they can imagine doing that today.

  • Talk to kids about the difference between video calls and regular phone calls. Which do they prefer? Why?

Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Skype was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old January 3, 2014
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Great for age's 10 and up

Well I think that Skype is a great way to talk to your friends or family members. I think the rating should be 10 and up :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 11 years old June 30, 2014
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

BEWARE OF THE DANGERS

USERS ARE ALLOWED TO CURSE AND THEY HAVE EMOTICONS FOR SMOKING AND I HAVE ENCOUNTERED A PERSON WHO OFFERD TO RUB HER P***Y FOR ME AND IM 10
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byemmygirl January 1, 2015
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Ok, but don't accept strange requests

It is fun for talking to friends, but you can get requests from anyone. Don't accept any strange requests.
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns

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