Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Skype Protocol

Dear Reader:

On October 23rd, two classrooms of select ITA students learned the basics of Skype, a multi-faceted piece of software capable of connecting people in tons of ways! Our students learned how to screen share, text, chat, play games, voice chat, video chat, change avatars, invite friends, download the client, and call phones, all using the Skype software and protocol.

They also learned the background to the internet -- how bits are transferred, how to use "speedtest.net" to see your how fast your internet connection uploads and downloads, examples of the different applications (e.g. Skype and WWW).

The afternoon group also learned about "Yuuguu", a collaboration tool that allows multiple screens (unlike Skype) to view a single shared screen. Collin showed a youtube video recorded at lunch of a Barack Obama halloween costume. Illa was so amazed, he took out his iPhone and recorded a video of the screen sharing of the video that was recorded at lunch. He also was unimpressed when someone pointed out the video could have just been forwarded as a link, and the screen sharing business avoided altogether. But, I think we all get the point :)

Skype was quite fun at times: everyone calling each other from across the room, having to end calls to accept others, starting group chats with the whole room, reeling from the microphone feedback. The morning group especially took a very hands on approach; instead of asking "how do I do this?" they looked almost everything up themselves -- from configuring their microphones to how many bits are in ASCII code.

All in all, the Sky Protocol was a nerdy success!

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