Aussie students celebrate learning without borders

Travis Smith, National Education Specialist, Microsoft Australia

We live in a world that is hyper-connected and always on. It’s a shift in thinking to realise that there are no longer barriers between communication, and we now have the opportunity to easily connect with individuals from right around the globe.

The next generation will know this all too well in the future workplace and it’s critical that we encourage this way of thinking from an early age – which is what Microsoft’s Skype-a-Thon set out to do.

Earlier this month, classrooms from around the world came together for a Skype-a-Thon as part of a global movement to help celebrate learning without borders. Travelling a million virtual miles via Skype, Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Education for Microsoft, acted as the ‘Skype Master’ spending 30 minutes with each school, before connecting with the next.

Schools around Australia participated, including both Frankston High School and Hawkesdale P12 College in Victoria with 45 students from kindergarten right through to year 12. The Skype-a-Thon provided each student with the opportunity to perform, improve their communication skills and learn from different cultures – all valuable skills for the 21st century workplace.

Students took turns showing off all that Australia has to offer, presenting Anthony with wool from their farms, singing, dressing up in sports paraphernalia and even presenting three lizards, a snake and a wallaby. Students were also shocked to find out that not everyone knew about AFL!

The 2015 Skype-a-Thon was a great success for all involved. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every student and teacher on the planet to achieve more, and the Skype-a-Thon was the perfect example of what can be achieved, using the power of technology to enhance the learning experience.

To find out more about Skype in the classroom, visit

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