Thursday, May 25, 2006
Telephone at Random
Another exercise based on Droit's book, but brought up to date for our web 2.0 age. If you read the extract below he suggests that we should phone somebody at random, of course in the past cost would have been the most important thing to worry about. Now with Skype you can phone anyone for little or no cost. If the person is in Skype Me mode then they are saying that they would like to talk. It seems the perfect way to try out Droit's experiment.
Well, that's exactly what I did last night's lesson. I had my ibook with me and while the school only has a slow dial-up connection, there is a wifi hotspot at th back of one of the classrooms (courtesy of somebody in the neighbourhood, I guess) which means we could use Skype. I asked one of my students to phone somebody at random from those in Skype Me mode. After several failed attempts, as Droit predicted, we ended up speaking to somebody in Finland, much to their suprise.
The beauty of Skype, apart from cost, is that you can choose the language, country, age, gender etc. of the people you want to talk to.