Skype – an amazing free tool

Firstly let me say that  I don’t mean ‘amazing’ as in ‘wow I’ve never seen this technology before’ rather here is a tool that allows you to connect with anyone in the world who is willing to talk to you or your class for free! It is one of the great things about Web 2.o – great tools, which if not free are cheap for what they provide.

On Monday my 10/11 PE class spoke with Olivia Warnes, a sports nutritionist who works for the Crows (she is actually quite nice), Redbacks, track cyclists and the Sports Med Hospital.

Students prepared questions based on work they had been doing in class and I emailed these to Olivia. The questions are below.

  1. What hydrates more effectively, water or sports drinks? (Kienan)
  2. How does the diet of an AFL footballer change from preseason, during the season and post season? (Rory)
  3. What types of foods and drinks do AFL players consume during games to keep their energy levels up? (Meghan)
  4. What is an example of a meal that an AFL footballer might have the night before a game and why is this a good meal to have? (Callum)
  5. Are the levels of carbohydrates required at an elite level different for male and female athletes? (Tyler)
  6. What type of diet does an AFL footballer have? What foods can they have a lot, moderate and small amounts of? (Courtland)
  7. How many kilojoules are used in a game of AFL football? How does this compare with other sports? (Brad)
  8. What is an example of a meal that an AFL footballer might have the morning of a game and why is this a good meal to have? (Madison)
  9. Do AFL players have much choice about their diet or does the club have total control over what they eat? (Nick)

Unfortunately the Learn Link system does not allow Skype to work on our network currently. So with the help of an iPhone hot spot we were able to connect with Olivia and spend about half an hour talking to her. The students took it in turns to go up and ask her their questions while the rest of the class took notes. At the end of the call students walked around and shared with each other their answers. This information will be used along with work done during the semester to complete their major assignment for the term. I also recorded the audio so that students could listen back if they needed more detail.

Click on the links below to hear the first 3 questions:

Olivia Warnes Introduction (audio recording missed start which is where she says that she works for the Crows)

Olivia Warnes Qu 1

Olivia Warnes Sports Qu 2

Olivia Warnes Qu 3

Taylor asking Olivia Courtland’s question (Courtland was away)

Skype is not without its problems. The video had to be cut because connection was weak which left us with a photo of Olivia and her voice (which was fine) and I had to use a personal phone to get access to Skype. Having said this these were the only two problems I came across and everything went quite smoothly. The benefit of having an expert in a field far and away outweighed any minor problems we encountered.

The great thing now is I have a contact who is willing to do this again and hopefully can link me with other experts in related fields.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Skype – an amazing free tool

  1. Great stuff Nick! I reckon for a subject like PE, or history or science or any of those subjects where you can access professionals and experts in the field this is an outstanding way to access them. It is more rigorous and engaging than reading it in a text book.
    Bravo! on an awesome effort – I know the frustrations with IT make us question why/when to use it but……. it is worth the improvement in student learning – everytime!

  2. Hi Nick, agree with Ed, really impressive, a great way to access expert knowledge incorporating technology that engages learners. In my context I can see options for meetings, tapping into people with relevant knowledge when looking at improvement strategies or even to communicate with guest speakers. Love the fact that it an e recorded and accessed again. Thanks for posting this.

  3. I have used Skype to keep in contact with family, esp while overseas. To use the video function you need a computer with a bit of power – my netbook didn’t cope with video, but larger laptop and home computer worked fine.

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