Skype - a suitable tool for communication


A good communication is important for involving students in projects.
E-mails, forums and other systems can be used to communicate with each other.

One of the best methods is a video conference.

What do I need for an video conference?
- Headset
- Webcam
- ADSL or a faster internet connection
- Chat Tool which supports video conferences

A verry good video conference tool is Skype.
It can be used for normal chating, audio connections and video conferences.
This article is about installing, configuring and using Skype.

1. Download and installation

Skype is available in serveral languages.
You can download the tool at http://www.skype.com/intl/
I think you know how to install tools like this. Next, Next, ... , Finish ;-)

2. Account creation

You'll now see a window like this:
sign_in.jpg

Step 1: Click "Don't have a Skype Name?"
Step 2: Fill in your full name (example: Michael Lux)
Step 3: Fill in the name you like to be called in Skype (example: michael.lux)
Step 4: Type in a password and repeat your password.
Step 5: Check "Yes I have read and accept..."
Step 6: Click "Next >"
Step 7: You mustn't type in your e-mail adress, but you should do it if you may forget your password.
Step 8: Uncheck "Yes, send me Skype news and special offers"
Step 9: Choose your Country/Region
Step 10: Type in the town/village where you live
Step 11: Click "Sign In"

3. Configuration

Welcome to Skype!
skype.jpg

Open Tools/Options... in the menu.

- Privacy:
"Allow calls from" -> Set "only people from my Contacts"
"Allow chats from" -> Set "only people from my Contacts"
Choose the history level -> forever - no history
- Video (BETA):
If you're using a webcam, check "Enable Skype Video", if not disable this option
- Updates:
If you aren't using an uninstaller, choose "Download automatically" at both options

Click "Save". The other options like Sounds, Notifications, etc. aren't verry important.
You can configure them later.

4. Invite people

Step 1: Click button "Add Contact"
Step 2: Type in Skype name, Full name or e-mail adress of the person
Step 3: Search the person you want to invite and double click on this item
Step 4: Click "Add Contact"
Step 5: Enter a message to introduce yourself
Step 6: Right-click on the person's Skype name in your Contacts
Step 7: Click "Request Contact Details"
Step 8: Enter a message to introduce yourself again

Now you've invited the person.
You have to wait now until the person has allowed you to add them to your Contacts.

5. Actions

Double-click on a person starts a Call (Headset required!) or Chat.
(Can be chosen at General Options.)
Right-click/Start Call -> Starts a voice chat (Headset required!)
Right-click/Start Chat -> Starts a chat session

The usage of a webcam can be controlled in the Video (BETA) Options or during a voice chat.

6. Conferences

I think that "true conferences" are chats, talks or talks with video among more than 2 persons.

You can invite more persons in a chat by clicking "Add" under a conference.
You can invite more persons to an voice or video conference by phoning a third or fourth person under
a call with an other person/other persons.

Michael Lux, student of grade 9 from Realschule Regenstauf