Skype has been helping to connect people since 2003 and having recently passed the milestone of having 30 million people online at once, we can safely say it has been a success.
However Skype is not resting on it laurels and has launched a new innovation to expand its appeal. Skype in the Classroom is a dedicated network for teachers and educators to connect and share their ideas and expertise. The network, which has been in beta testing since December, was launched officially today and has over 4,000 teachers already signed up. Using the platform, teachers can create profiles that describe their classes and teaching interests. They can also search a directory of teachers from all over the world by student age range, language and subject.
Skype in the Classroom allows teachers to search by location, map or keyword to find what they're looking for, whether it's a teacher, resource or project. It will also allow teachers to showcase projects they want to carry out and post details of the kind of partner they are looking for, as well as finding projects to participate in. Projects already developed through the platform range in subject from earthquakes to weather and helping deaf children communicate.
In a very different development, a project in the home of Skype is bringing the video-calling experience to airports. Three companies in Estonia, where developers Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu and Jaan Tallinn created the Skype software back in 2003, have produced a Skype phone booth and located it in Tallinn Airport. The booth has a 22in touchscreen and headset to allow users to log into their own account and connect with friends around the world or free or using Skype credit.
The companies plan to roll out these booths to more airports as well as hotels, hospitals and shopping malls around Estonia and we hope that should they prove popular these booths could soon be seen in airports around the globe.