3 Weeks until Skype-a-Thon 2018: How to prepare for one of the biggest learning events of the year

The countdown to this year’s Skype-a-Thon has begun. Nearly half a million students and teachers around the world are getting ready to connect beyond their classrooms via Skype to travel 14 million virtual miles. They’ll talk with guest speakers and other schools and take virtual field trips to exciting places across the globe. This 48 hour event event celebrates the power of global learning and unlock the potential for all children to learn.       

Participating helps open the hearts and minds of your students and create empathy for one another. By sharing song and dance, cultural traditions and stories, and seeing places and things they could never physically travel to visit, children expand their perspectives about the world.    

The event also allows students to heave a meaningful impact on the world. For every 400 virtual miles traveled by Skype-a-Thon participants, Microsoft will donate education resources to a child in need in one of 9 WE Villages around the world. If participants reach the goal of 14 million virtual miles, that could help up to 35,000 children have the chance to learn.

If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still time to join us. To help you get started and prepare for the event, below you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions!  

And if you have more questions, reach out to us via Twitter @SkypeClassroom or watch the on-demand training webinar here. 


How can I join/sign up for Skype-a-Thon? 


Choose one of the Skype in the Classroom activities and schedule as many calls as you can for November 13/14. You can choose one of the following: 


How can I prepare my classroom?


This is easier than ever! Download the Skype-a-Thon Step by Step activity plan to save time while organizing your calls. It is full of ideas on what to do before to prepare your students and how to expand the experiences after the event using Flipgrid! 


Are there any available classroom resources? 


Of course! We have plenty of classroom FREE resources that will add to the fun! From digital passports, to maps, certificates, activity sheets and many more. Explore the Teacher Toolkit here. 


How do I schedule a Skype-a-Thon call?


To schedule a Skype-a-Thon call, you need to be a member of the Microsoft Educator Community. If you are new, simply click on “Sign in” at the top right of the screen and create a profile.  In a matter of minutes, you will be able to begin searching and registering for Skype connections for your class in the Skype in the Classroom section. 


What are the virtual miles and how can I earn them?


Virtual or Skype Miles are earned when you participate in any Skype activity – from a Skype lesson or Virtual field trip, to having a Guest Speaker Skype into your classroom or playing Mystery Skype with another class. In order to track your miles for you, we require Skype Lessons, Guest Speaking Sessions, Mystery Skype and Virtual Field Trips all to be booked within the system on this site. 

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