In an effort to expand student access to videoconferencing technology, Skype is partnering with DonorsChoose.
Skype will donate $250,000 to teachers requesting (via DonorsChoose) technology materials to enable Skype video calling in their classrooms. DonorsChoose Vice President Carolina Martin said many teachers have requested materials such as laptops, netbooks and webcams to help them connect with other classrooms, experts and teachers through video calling.
“When Skype first came to us with this partnership we actually looked at our site and found that there were already quite a few Skype opportunities that teachers were looking for,” Martin said. “And that is exactly why we feel this is just a perfect marriage of what Skype is about in terms of transcending the physical boundaries of the classroom and what our teachers are saying they want for their students to help them think globally.”
The partnership is the latest initiative from Skype to reach its goal of connecting one million classrooms across the globe through Skype in the Classroom, a free online community that helps teachers use Skype to enrich educational experiences for students.
Starting today,Skype will give a $25 DonorsChoose gift card to each new teacher who registers for Skype in the Classroom. Educators can then apply the value of the gift card to any classroom project at DonorsChoose or a project they create themselves, if they are eligible U.S. public-school teachers.
The public also can get involved by going to DonorsChoose, looking for “Double Your Impact” projects that have the Skype logo, and making a donation. Skype will then provide a 50% match on these projects.
“This DonorsChoose partnership is a really natural fit in that it gives Skype a direct way to impact a classroom and enable learning experiences that would otherwise not be available,” Brianna Reynaud, spokesperson for Skype in the Classroom, said. “We are very excited about this opportunity. Together, we’re going to put money directly in the hands of these classrooms.”