Skype is a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) application that lets users make free phone calls between Skype-equipped computers and inexpensive calls between Skype computers and landline or cell phones. Skype functions on a P2P model rather than as a centralized application, and it offers features such as voicemail, call forwarding, conference calling, and video chat. In most circumstances, Skype provides access to voice and video communication for a fraction of what other options cost. It allows more frequent contact between colleagues, collaborators, and friends and permits connections with those not likely to be in touch through conventional phone systems.
The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About..." briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.