Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Skyping Lucknow re geckos

Our friends at Lucknow were keen to contact us about our Geckos having seen them on the blog. We couldn't get the drivers we downloaded, for the one Pam from Arataki gave us, to work so rather than wait to get her disks we picked up a $25 web cam in town. Then we found the software didn't work for that, but after we downloaded new drivers for it, and found the folder it couldn't find by itself, we finally got it going and set up.
An initial trial with the teachers and then a few of our children showed speakers rather than headphones were needed so we unplugged the heaphones and on went the speakers.The next day we called Lucknow, waiting on line for them through out the morning but all we got was away from keyboard and no reply. Instead we practised looking at ourselves in the web cam, which was very entertaining as it behaves differently to a mirror. With a new date and a specific time before 11 am (after they tried to Skype us during our children's lunch) sorted out we got connected on Monday 10.11.08. Their children asked our gecko experts and our teacher David about Geckos and then our children chatted to their teachers getting used to the idea of a video link while they had group time.
Skype tips:
The default for Skype is to turn on when you turn on your computer. Go to options and you can change this to only turn on when you want it. Set who's allowed to call you and to see if you have video at the same time.
Have the web cam plugged in when you turn on the computer.
Arrange a specific date and time for calls. (Very important)
But the time you get lots of plugs, a mouse, a web cam, speakers set up a laptop will lose mobility. While a web cam can be moved around a laptop with all these built in would be good.
Ear phones are great for one on one but not groups.
If linking to t.v./ monitor as well as the laptop, video will play on one or other, go to control panel , display, settings, advanced options, display and push the button to select the one you want to watch video through. Not sure if this is true for skype but it works for movies.
Once set up skyping itself is easy. You select you contact, you push a button, you talk.
It takes practise to feel confident talking to someone you can see, and moving and gesturing on screen.
It would be great to leave it going for the kids to talk to each other I think, so as to see where they take it.

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