“Skype in the Classroom opens the door to a whole new world of learning for my students so we can travel without passports and borders.” – Anna Zubkovskaya, Russia

Anna Zubkovskaya
English Teacher, Professional Development Expert
Yaroslavl Town Planning College

English teacher Anna Zubkovskaya takes professional development very seriously – both for herself and for other teachers in her region. She quickly went from new Microsoft Education user to Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Skype Master Teacher, and Microsoft Innovative Educator Fellow. And using what she’s learned, she organizes seminars and webinars for other teachers and participates in yearly professional competitions.

Zubkovskaya’s young students are likely the biggest beneficiaries of her expertise, though.

“My favorite quote is, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,’” she explains. “And I try to use many different tools to make this happen.”

This starts with connecting her students to the fun in learning.

“My students like to play and their favorite game is Kahoot, so I spend a lot of time creating or searching for new ways to play,” Zubkovskaya tells us. “I also like Mystery Skype, where students can communicate in English while playing, learn to respond quickly to the questions, develop independent work skills, improve vocabulary and grammar, and get acquainted with social and cultural realities in real time. All of this increases motivation and interest in the subject.”

Skype plays a prominent role in Zubkovskaya’s teaching, and she sees the tool as an important way for her students to develop 21st century skills. Her class participated in the Mystery Skype Selfie Challenge, and connected with classrooms in Bahrain, India, and more through the Microsoft Education Skype-a-Thon.

“Without these skills, they will not be able to successfully participate in the global economy,” she says. “Using Skype technologies and other tools helps to develop collaboration and teamwork, creativity and imagination, and problem solving. Skype in the Classroom opens the door to a whole new world of learning for my students so we can travel without passports and borders. My students have made a lot of friends from all over the world, and that’s why they are afraid to miss any lesson.”

What do they share with students from other parts of the world?

“As guest speakers, we talk about our country, culture, and traditions – including traffic rules and well-known people from our country,” she says. “But most of all, I prefer to tell about the history of Russian dolls. I’ve got a big collection of them and most of them were created by my students and me.”

Connect with Anna at her Microsoft Educator Community Profile.

About Anna Zubkovskaya

  • Educational background: Specialized English school, Yaroslavl Pedagogical University
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Flipgrid, Sway, OneNote
  • Favorite books: In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Website I check every day: Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft in Education
  • Favorite childhood memory: I still remember my first flight. I was nearly 3 years old, and for the first time I saw the sea.
  • What is the best advice you have ever received? Do not give up.
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