It sounds like the punch line for a middle school joke. What would you get if you crossed YouTube and Skype? The answer is a tremendous tool called Wetoku. Like YouTube, Wetoku lets you create videos that stream online. Like Skype, Wetoku allows you to conduct video interviews with people from around the world. Putting this functionality of these two sites together makes Wetoku a unique and valuable tool. The best part is the site is really easy to use and completely free. The only challenge with the site is that both you and the person you are interviewing need to have Wetoku accounts before you can conduct an interview. This is hardly a downside to such a powerful tool.
When I think about all of the educational options for this site, I’m honestly excited about educators using Wetoku with their students. Students who are learning a foreign language can practice their speaking with a native speaker. Students could conduct an interview with someone working in a profession they are researching. The educational applications are almost limitless. The great thing is that the interviews they conduct can be shared online and embedded in other places. For those of us who build social experiences into our classes, we can have students individually record interviews on a specific topic but share their interviews with the rest of the class in a discussion board.
I do need to share a word of warning, however. I would have serious reservations about using the site with younger students. We need to be very cautious of putting vulnerable students in online interactions with strangers. While Wetoku is a great tool to promote and record online interactions, it may not be appropriate to use with all learners.