How To Teach Online Using Skype

How to Teach Online Using Skype

Skype is a free, easy to use video communications platform that has been popular for nearly two decades. Since its introduction, Skype has grown into one of the leading video communications platforms available. In this article we’re going to discuss how to teach online using Skype, and how Teachworks can help you streamline the process of connecting students and tutors via Skype.


Skype Makes It Easy To Connect

Connecting on Skype is easy and requires only a few simple steps. It’s possible to set up Skype meetings and join them as a guest, but if your tutors and students frequently use Skype, it may be a good idea for them to create a Skype profile. Although they aren’t required, having a profile can simplify connecting on Skype. It also allows tutors to easily identify who is in meetings.

The free version of Skype includes access to the Skype application (available for desktop and mobile devices). Sign-up is easy, and requires only an email address and your name.

If you, your students, or tutors need help setting up their Skype profile, they can find all of the information they need in Skype’s extensive knowledge base here: Getting Started.


Features For Teaching Online With Skype

Skype offers intuitive tools for students and tutors to connect online. Skype offers video, audio, and chat features that are easy to enable and disable as needed. You can also easily share files with a few simple clicks, so tutors and students can easily exchange files, review homework, and complete tests.

Skype’s potential as a tutoring communication platform could be limited depending on the type of tutoring services you offer and how your tutors teach online. Skype is optimized for video and audio communication and doesn’t currently offer a native whiteboard solution. If audio, video, chat and file sharing features are enough to get the job done, Skype is a fantastic option for your tutoring business. If you need a more comprehensive whiteboard solution instead, you may want to check out Lessonspace instead.


Setting Up Online Lessons With Skype

To set up online lessons with Skype you can create a Skype Meeting, which can be done with or without a Skype profile. Below are the steps for setting up a Skype Meeting:

  1. Go to skype.com
  2. Scroll down to the section titled “Meet Now on Skype!”
  3. Click “Create your meeting”
  4. On the next page, click “Create a free meeting”
  5. Click “Start Meeting,” or save the link for future use as a meeting space.
Skype Meeting Link

Skype Meetings have a number of benefits:

  • Users can access the Skype Meeting in their browser and don’t need to download the Skype Application
  • Users can access the Meeting as a guest, without needing to create a Skype profile
  • The Skype Meeting URL is permanent, and doesn’t expire
  • You can create as many Skype Meetings as needed by repeating the steps to generate more unique Skype Meeting URLs.

Each of these benefits makes Skype a great solution for hosting online tutoring, but the last two in particular offer an opportunity to significantly reduce the administrative time spent scheduling and coordinating online lessons. We’re now going to highlight how Teachworks will streamline your business’ process for scheduling and connecting students and tutors online via Skype.


How Teachworks Simplifies Online Lessons With Skype

Since Skype offers permanent links to Skype Meetings, there is no need to create a meeting each time you schedule an online lesson. All that is necessary is to supply the tutor and student with a link to their Skype Meeting ahead of their online lesson.

Teachworks’ Location Links Add-On makes this process extremely easy. All you need to do is add a Skype Meeting link to a location in your Teachworks Location List and then schedule lessons with that location. Tutors, students, and parents can then access the Skype Meeting directly from their Teachworks Calendar or in automated Lesson Reminder Emails.


Steps For Creating Accessible Skype Locations In Teachworks

Once you’ve created a Skype Meeting and have the URL to the Meeting, you can create a Location in Teachworks that links to the Skype Meeting anywhere the Location for a lesson is referenced.

To create accessible Skype Locations in Teachworks, follow these steps:

  1. Enable the Location Links Add-On if you haven”t already done so. You can do that by logging into your admin account and going to Account & Settings > Integrations & Add-Ons > Location Links > Enable.
  2. Once the add-on is enabled, go to Account & Settings > Locations > Add Location.
  3. Enter a name for your Skype Meeting. Add the Skype Meeting link to the “Link” field. The link doesn’t include https://, so be sure to add that to the beginning of the link when you add it:
  1. It may be a good idea to check the “Display Conflicts” box so the Conflict Checker will display conflicts if more than one lesson is scheduled for a location at any given time.
  1. Click “Save.”
  2. If you plan to create more than one Skype Meeting for online lessons, you can repeat the steps listed above to add each one as a Location in Teachworks.

Giving Students and Tutors Access To Their Skype Lessons

Once you’ve created Locations that link to your Skype Meetings, you can use those locations to schedule lessons on your Calendar. Any reference to the location will be hyperlinked directly to the Skype Meeting once a lesson has been scheduled.

That means students, parents, and customers can access their Skype Meeting directly from their Calendar. You can also add the {LOCATION} merge tag to the automated lesson reminder email template so recipients can access their online lessons directly from their reminder emails.


Try It Out

You can test out Skype’s meeting feature by going to skype.com and following the steps listed above to create a meeting space.

If you don’t yet have a Teachworks account and would like to start streamlining your process for connecting tutors and students online, click the button below to get started with your free 3 week trial.

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