18 – Skype

DOWN 7 places in 2018 but has held a prominent position on the list over the last 12 years. 

Skype is useful for one-to-one interactions as well as group conversations. Skype for Business means it is also a key enterprise tool, and Skype in the Classroom a key educational tool.

Website: skype.net
Cost: Free for computer-computer use. Pay to call landlines and mobile phones, and send SMS messages
Availability: Download

Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning 2018: 14
Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning 2018: 14
Top 100 Tools for Education 2018: 26

Past Overall Rankings
2017: 11    2016: 7    2015: 9    2014: 25    2013: 13    2012: 7    2011: 4    2010: 6    2009: 11    2008: 4    2007: 3


Comments from some of those who selected Skype as one of their Top 10 Tools

“This has been my tool of choice for conversations and collaborations with my clients and teams. But I am increasingly exploring other options like Zoom.” Taruna Goel, 2018

“Messenger/Skype/whatever-Microsoft’s-IM-tool-is-called-these-days It integrates properly with the thing it needs to replace, Outlook, so for that reason it has the best chance of beating it. And it works exceedingly well (most of the time).” Dan Roddy, L&D Manager, UK

“I was slow to come to the Skype side. But, I tried my first Mystery Skype a couple years ago and was hooked. There are tons of professionals who are willing to connect to your classes.” Jeremy Tucker, USA

“let’s me stay in touch with my ITA colleagues, hence it’s definitely a learning tool. I also use it occasionally to have conversations with folks.” Clark Quinn,USA

“In our agile world this has helped to stay connected with my peers and learning network. Great way to communicate and share content.” Anon, Australia

“instant message people to get an answer fast” L&D Manager, UK

“I find I am using Skype more to stay in touch with people through conversations and text messaging.” Harold Jarche, Consultant, Canada, 2016

“I have never used Skype as a program by itself but daily at work use Skype for business (My assumption is there run basically the same). My favorite feature is the screen share option so that when others who are not in the same room as me have the option to see what is on my screen or give me controls to their screen to make learning more efficient.” Bethany Langley, Instructional Technology Student, USA, 2016

“Best way to teach/coach online” Stefan Van De Velde, Online learning facilitator, Belgium, 2016

“Great for 1-2-1 conversations, team chats and presentations.” James Clay, UK, 2016

“Helps keep in touch, and connect with clients and colleagues in a hassle-free manner.” Srividya Kumar, Consultant, India, 2016

“Skype for Business for interactions, meetings, webinars” Ann Gall, Instructional Designer, USA, 2016

“Skype for Business for conducting meetings with my colleagues across the globe is something I learn from on a daily basis” L&D Manager, UK, 2016

“I don’t like the way Microsoft have taken this great application and are trying to manipulate its users, but in its ‘raw’ form it is still a great communication tool.” Charles Jennings, Consultant, USA, 2016

“for running meetings and working across UK and internationally without cost of travel” Joe Wilson, Consultant, Scotland, 2016

“invaluable as a communication to students who study at a distance” University/College Teacher, UK, 2016

“My tool of choice for conversations and collaboration” Taruna Goel, L&D Manager, Canada, 2016

“Skype offers the magic of essentially free multimedia global communication and learning. 25 years ago the Boston Consulting Group was predicting a future of virtually free telecommunications. That prediction came true much sooner than BCG thought it would. Of course Skype has glitches and issues, and its new owner Microsoft is trying to extract value from users, but with a decent broadband connection Skype offers the real-time and asynchronous communications we could have only dreamed about 25 years ago.  Together with my colleagues in the Internet Time Alliance, I use Skype as our principal digital ‘glue’ to share and learn is a continuous flow.” Charles Jennings, 2015

“I like to see the person I’m talking with. Also, Skype’s great for talking with a group of people at once.” Jay Cross, 2015

“I find I am using Skype more to stay in touch with people through conversations and text messaging.” Harold Jarche, 2015

“Me permite conectar con otros.” Marta Toran, 2015

“the Internet Time Alliance maintains a Skype channel where we regularly discuss issues, and ask and answer each other’s questions.” Clark Quinn, 2015

“This is a great tool for personal communication and team meetings. And it’s free! I use Skype quite a lot. I prefer it for meetings. I have never liked the phone, so I don’t particularly want to Skype for ‘chat’.” Jenny Mackness, 2014

“continues to be the way I stay in touch with my ITA colleagues” Clark Quinn, 2014

“Simple and easy way to stay in touch with my community” 2013
“chat with colleagues”  Clark Quinn 2013
“like copper and fibre, invaluable” 2013

Pre-2013 comments

“invaluable for tutorials with my students and yet again for my own Spanish language studies: I meet with a teacher on line every fortnight to practice conversation” Jane Challinor

“Excellent for keeping in contact with colleagues and learners” Carol Cooper Taylor

“Is my primary tool for voice communication, video communication, and small group meetings. I like it for its ease-of-use, price, and consistency”Janet Clarey

“provides mixed synchronous and asynchronous communications, along with file transfer” Pat Parslow

“Opens the world to the classroom. Can be used by the average person to communicate with people from all over the world. I recently gave a keynote speech in Indonesia (from my office in Iowa) through Skype.” Leigh Zeitz

“A must have. Of all the video chat products available, the consistent quality of calls on Skype wins hands down.” Rich Chetwynd

“a great (and free) alternative to the telephone” Jay Cross