I remember over 20 years ago when my sister moved all the way to Houston, Texas from our humble home in West Virginia. We had never been away from each other for more than a few days and now it would take a few days to drive to her house. My dad had a friend who always had the latest gadgets. He let us borrow this machine that looked like a mini television. Somehow you hooked it up to the telephone line and you could take a blurry, black and white picture of yourself and send it to the other mini television. You still had to use the handset to talk and to hear each other, but after about 5 minutes you could "see" the person hundreds of miles away. We thought it was revolutionary. We had no idea.
Now the pictures are crystal clear moving, speaking images of the person on the other side of your smartphone with only milliseconds of a delay. I use Skype to stay in touch with my daughter who moved to Virginia for college. My parents can talk to my kids from 3 hours away. And after going through the 23 Things module, I plan on connecting with other classrooms across the country and hopefully around the world. With websites like Read Across America and other Skype classroom connections, it's possible to have a book discussion with another class in a different state or learn about an entirely different culture with question and answer sessions. It's creative, it's collaborative, and it's free!
Skyping is more than just a teenage communication tool. It's the 21st Century classroom.