Can Skype Help with Studying?


Just the other day, my fourteen year old son, Will, announced that he was going to Skype (is this word now a verb?) with his friend Kelly in order to study for an upcoming test.  I was instantly skeptical.  After all, it’s unlikely that any real studying can involve social media…right?  I was wrong.

That evening I decided to walk ever so slowly by Will’s room to see if he was really studying or merely chatting with his friend.  I was surprised to hear that they were quizzing each other for an upcoming test based on a study guide they were reviewing together.  I heard questions like, “Do you think she’s going to ask about the causes of the revolution on the test?  How did you create your venn diagram showing cause and effect?  This is how I did mine (holding up paper).”

So, in the end, I do think Skype is the way to go for many of our tech-savvy kids.  Here are some things to think about:

  • Research shows that students remember far more of what they discuss than what they read or hear.   Small study groups are ideal, but when that’s not possible, consider Skype.
  • Be sure your child has guidelines so that the time spent studying doesn’t turn into social hour.  Kids should establish with their peer how long the study session will last and what they need to accomplish.  All worksheets and study guides should be emailed ahead of time.
  • Skype can help your child with a sense of accountability.  Some students just can’t muster enough energy to study alone, but they often can when they have an established study session with a friend.

And your tween or teen will surely be impressed when you encourage Skype as a study tool!

Ann Dolin, M.Ed.
President – Educational Connections, Inc.