I have been on Skype for a long time, back before video and before it was a verb. I have used it to conduct business across the globe, make meeting more meaningful, and keep in touch while abroad. These same factors can be utilized to enhance education, by bringing in guest speakers without the need to travel, facilitate learning in a new language and many other applications.
Skype is responding to the classroom use by launching a dedicated network for teachers called Skype in the Classroom. The new service will make it possible for teachers to create profiles that describe themselves, their teaching interests and the classes they teach. Also, teachers can connect to one another by searching for other teachers based on age range, language and subject.
In addition to finding other teachers looking to reach out via Skype, educators can find specific Projects via the projects tab that allows users to post and search for projects that require collaboration via Skype. Also, a map shows teachers laid on a map in case you want to find a teacher in a specific country.
By embracing specific verticals with custom solutions, Skype is showing how the service can be used beyond person to person video and voice calling. Of course Skype is an example of how the Internet can be used to bring the world closer together, but by embracing communities such as teachers, Skype is extending the classroom beyond the brick walls of a school.