We had just flown through the plans for the semester- I had so many web 2.0 tools to tell my students about. Blogging, podcasting, wikis (showed them the great video below) and Skyping with the webcam. My students were lining up to leave the technology lab on their first technology class since returning to school. We heard the now familiar noise over my sound system - my students pointed to the invitaion displayed on the SMARTBoard: ACCEPT or DECLINE the call. I hesitated- I had never seen this before. They yelled ACCEPT IT-ACCEPT IT!! Then I saw it was a friend in my educator's network - from Australia. We are in South Carolina - a 14 hour time difference. Simon talked to the students and they were thrilled. After they left, Simon told me that my video was not working - the students did not even know (and still don't-shhh) that he did not see all of their excited waving and smiling.
I worked on the mystery of no video on my end- no luck. The next day a different class had just finished a video email on our Logitech webcam that we sent to their homeroom teacher when Skype notified me that I had a caller on the web. I switched over to Skype and once again Simon from Australia talked to a group of excited elementary students. Still no video on my end. How was it working when we just made a video email and not now??
Techies probably know the ending.....Later that day, I was on to something entirely different when I stumbled on a valuable bit of info: Make sure you have only one application for your camera running at a time. Yes - I can now Skype successfully. A note has been going home this week to 2nd-3rd grade parents..."Send an email to me to be on my list" and you too can receive Calls from the Classroom! Students can't wait - me too!