Skype In The Classroom – Bringing Guest Speakers to Students


Towards the end of last year we covered a number of different topic areas related to the Hour of Code project, organised by Code.org, and one that was also mentioned in one of out MIE Minute blog posts is an additional activity available to schools as a result of this fantastic initiative. In partnership with Code.org, Skype In the Classroom presents ‘Guest Speakers in Computer Science’.

We have smart, passionate and engaging tech industry professionals from numerous technology companies who would love to talk to your class about their jobs. One of the challenges facing students and teachers can be transforming the theory of the textbook into real life practical examples. In other words, what are the jobs and how do people actually get them?

Inviting industry experts to share their knowledge with a room full of attentive young minds via Skype is a great way to give students – and teachers – an insight into the plethora of careers available today. But better than any educational video could ever be, having the ability to ask them questions is what having a Guest Speaker in your classroom is all about. Plenty of information is available online and in textbooks, but being able to delve into the minds of those at the forefront of their industry is an invaluable experience, and one that encourages a hugely important mindset when it comes to learning – being of an inquisitive nature. It also gives students their first glimpse into networking and provides them with new ways to look at their own future.

Just watch this video of Fabien Cousteau talking to a classroom full of children from his underwater laboratory to see the reaction from the students:

Through ‘Guest Speakers in Computer Science’, Skype and Code.org are making it possible for schools to find inspiring figures from the tech world, who can offer insight into their roles within the industry, and offer students an interactive experience with real time feedback. Whether it’s career education or just understanding the different roles available in technology, we are here to help you find the right people to inspire your students.

As part of the partnership between Skype and Code.org, all a teacher needs to do is to visit Skype in the classroom site to view a list of speakers available in their time zone and suitable to the age range of their students, and then create a shortlist of industry figures that they’d like to speak to their class.

Whilst  Computer Science Education Week officially ran from the 8th to the 14th of December, it’s not too late to take an Hour of Code tutorial and learn the principles of coding. If you are a parent or a teacher, then get your students or children to try our Angry Birds tutorial – you never know what it might inspire them to do! Then extend the Hour of Code experience by scheduling a Guest Speaker via Skype. The program is available through June 2015.


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