The Skype team has taken to their blog to share the success of Skype-a-Thon this year, a Microsoft-hosted event to promote learning without borders. The event lasted for 2 days, with 3,046,124 virtual miles collectively travelled by students and teachers around the world.
Microsoft has had a long history of promoting Skype for educational purpose, starting in 2009 with the launch of the Skype in the Classroom program, where students uses Skype to view and connect with other locations, cultures and people around the globe remotely. The program has seen very positively received, participation from over 400,000 teachers from 265 regions.
Continuing on that momentum, this year, Microsoft hosted the first ever Global Skype-a-Thon: on December 3 and 4, teachers conducted pre-scheduled Skpe calls with guest speakers, other classrooms around the world, and did virtual field trips, in order to travel one million virtual miles.
I think Skype-a-Thon is such a great event, because you can really connect with people all over the world. And like my teacher says, ‘If you say yes to an opportunity, you never know what doors will open and take you on a new adventure.’” – A 5th grade student at Allisonville Elementary School, Indiana
The resulted far exceeded that initial goal: the number was surpassed on day one, and by the end of the event, more than 3 million virtual miles have been travelled by teachers and student from India, Australia, Mexico, China, Finland, Kenya, the United States and more. Activities included
“This was honestly the highlight of my day. Especially when our guest speaker talked about leadership, it was extremely inspiring and motivating.” – Ryli, a 7th grade student at Andover Middle School, Florida
The advancement of technology has made the world a more magical place than ever: think back to just 20 years ago if you ever imagined visiting Mount Everest and talking with climbers without ever leaving your class. With companies and educators pushing the boundaries of practical application of technology like Microsoft and the Skype-a-Thon participants, it’s never been better to be a student.
— Arin Kress (@ArinKress) December 4, 2015
Further reading: Microsoft, Skype, Skype in the Classroom