Skype Partners with DonorsChoose.org to Bring Technology Resources to Classrooms Across the Country
PALO ALTO, Calif., March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Skype today announced an initiative to provide U.S. teachers the technology resources they need to enable learning experiences that transcend the physical boundaries of the classroom. Through a new partnership with DonorsChoose.org, Skype will donate $250,000 to teachers requesting technology materials to enable Skype video calling in their classrooms. Many teachers have requested materials such as laptops, netbooks, and webcams to help them connect with other classrooms, experts and teachers through video calling. This partnership is the latest initiative from Skype to reach its goal of connecting one million classrooms across the globe through Skype in the classroom, a free online community that helps teachers use Skype to enrich educational experiences for students.
“We realize that to achieve our goal of connecting one million classrooms across the globe, we need to partner with like-minded organizations that serve teachers,” said Tony Bates, president of the Skype Division at Microsoft, “The partnership with DonorsChoose.org is a natural fit because, much like Skype, DonorsChoose.org uses an innovative model to help make a meaningful difference for thousands of teachers and students.”
To celebrate this partnership, Skype has already funded a number of projects including:
- Visual Music: Seeing the Big Picture
- The NASA Experience
- “Mom, We had 25 Chileans in our Class Today!”
- Bring Science and Technology Together in the Classroom
- Leaping into 2012 with a Laptop for Learning!
Here’s how teachers can take advantage of the program:
- Starting today, Skype will give a $25 USD DonorsChoose.org Gift Card to each new teacher who registers for Skype in the classroom. The teacher can then apply the value of the gift card to any classroom project at DonorsChoose.org or one they create themselves, if an eligible U.S. public schoolteacher.
Here’s how the public can support the program:
- Go to DonorsChoose.org and look for “Double Your Impact” projects that have the Skype logo and make a donation. Skype will then provide a 50% match on these projects.
“DonorsChoose.org engages the community in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity,” said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, “We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education and Skype, through its Skype in the classroom community, is helping to make this vision a reality.”
With 23,000 registered teachers and counting, Skype in the classroom is a free global community that invites teachers to use Skype to connect their students with other students from around the world to collaborate on classroom projects, as well as share ideas and inspiration around specific teaching needs. It’s easy to see why – Skype offers an immediate way to help students discover new cultures, languages and ideas, all without leaving the classroom. Skype in the classroom supports Microsoft’s commitment to create opportunities for youth through technology, training, and experiences that empower them to imagine and realize their full potential and make a real impact for a better tomorrow.
Skype is communications software whose purpose is to break down barriers to communication. With an Internet-connected device, families, friends and colleagues can get together for free with messaging, voice and video. At low cost, they can also call landlines or mobiles virtually anywhere in the world. Skype has recently introduced group video, allowing groups of more than two people to do things together whenever they’re apart.
Founded in 2003 and based in Luxembourg, Skype is a division of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT). Skype can be downloaded onto computers, mobile phones and other connected devices for free at www.skype.com.
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post requests, and individuals can give directly to the ones that inspire them. To date, 212,000 public and charter school teachers have used DonorsChoose.org to secure $102 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn.