08 April 2010

Tech Note: SKYPE

SKYPE for desktop videoconferencing is the most common free supplier for web-based communication. The free offerings are audio calls (computer to computer, including conference calls for multiple users), video calls, and IM (instant messaging).

Those offerings are not new but the reliability and quality of the free services deserve mention as improved in 2009. Having downloaded the SKYPE software every year for the past 3 years (on replacement laptops), I've concluded that the current version is the most user-friendly and also the most reliable regardless of computer OS and equipment.

Add-ons (for a fee) are calls to landlines/cells, voicemail, SMS/text, and call forwarding. I have successfully used the pay-as-you-go account for calling landlines from the computer. Keeping $10 on account protects against not having a phone handy and call recipients cannot tell the source of the call.

For use on campus, ability to download SKYPE may be a barrier although some schools now see SKYPE as the affordable "long distance" service and therefore make it easier to obtain. Audio quality is almost always improved by addition of a headset. SKYPE sells one for under $25; many users have good experience with even cheaper ones.

Disclosure statement: I have no relationship with SXC and I have not received any compensation or free product for mentioning this service. (This blog's only monetary reward comes through google.adsense links, which are selected by Google, not by me.)

© 2010 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Email contact: bold[AT]marybold.com. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (http://www.marybold.com/, http://www.boldproductions.com/, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

No comments: