Tech Tip Tuesday: Skype Translator

Skype in the Classroom by mrmayo, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  mrmayo 

Today’s guest blogger is Michelle Nass, DHSW Librarian and Onsite Coordinator for the Ivy Academy.

by Michelle Nass.
So, I’m excited.  I know, that doesn’t really take a whole lot, but friends, this is exciting.  Microsoft has added a translator to Skype!  In fact, you can just go ahead and download the Skype Translator preview here.  
Skype Translator automatically translates your voice and video calls with real-time translation. Here’s how it works:
  • You can call almost anyone who has Skype.
  • Your conversation is translated into another language in near real-time.
  • What someone else says is translated back in your language.
  • An on-screen transcript of your call is display.
  • You can send instant messages across 50 languages – from Arabic to Yucatec Maya.
At Downingtown’s first EdCamp this year, I was really interested in fellow librarian, Christy Brennan’s (@christybrenn) presentation of Google Hangouts and I started wondering how I could work this into our work at West.  I didn’t get much beyond that honestly… It’s been tabled for next year. I’ll get to it, I promise. This, though, I don’t have to wonder all that much about.  Immediately, I thought of our language classrooms, of our elementary students who have just started their language journeys in Rosetta Stone, of our African-Asian Studies students, of our Holocaust Symposium, of our student exchange programs, and the list goes on.
What gets me is the video below.

Check out the looks of wonder on those students’ faces.  Notice when the children say “I would love to visit you someday.” Think of these connections and of those boundaries that are immediately traversed and overcome in an instant.  Think of where these kids can go virtually, and then maybe someday,  physically.  And then, come back to that wonder on the students’ faces.  Isn’t that what we are all about, that spark?  So, I’m excited.  Let me know if you are too, and we can do something about that.

For more details, please check out these two blogs, especially Joyce Valenza’s:

Richard Bryne’s Blog: “Skype Translator Preview Opens to All Windows 8 & 10 Users” 
Joyce Valenza’s Blog: “Translator is Here.  Forget the Four Walls Thing.” 


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