What is Skype for Business?

Have you ever wanted to invite a subject expert to talk to your class, but they live too far away? Do you want to cut down on travel costs and time between different school sites for meetings? Then it might be time to give Skype for Business a whirl. Skype for Business can give you:

  • Instant messaging (IM)
  • Voice calls
  • Video conferencing
  • Screen sharing.
  • Presence information - At a glance, see if your colleagues are busy or available.
  • Conversations are protected by strong authentication and encryption.
  • The Skype for Business app is available for mobile, tablet, PC and Mac.

Skype for Business is the version of Skype that is included with Office 365. In terms of the core features such as IM, voice or video calls and screen sharing, it is basically the same as the free version of Skype that anyone can download. However, it has greater integration with other office products such as Outlook, enterprise grade security and more extensive conferencing, meeting and phone features.

If you're just looking for some information on how to install the Skype for Business client and start using it, then please see the Learn More About Skype for Business section below.


Tell me a bit more. Why should I use Skype for Business?

There are lots of reasons you might use Skype, from better communication within the school between staff and / or students, to transformative learning experiences with schools and children around the world. The best way to get a flavour of what is possible is to watch the videos below.

This first video provides a walkthrough of Skype for Business, from the very basics of understanding presence information and instant messaging (IM) to making video calls and scheduling Skype meetings. It's about 15 minutes long, but it does provide a great overview. Why not watch the first 5 minutes during a tea break just to find out how to get started?



If you are more interested in finding out how Skype for Business can be used in the classroom, then the two videos below might provide some inspiration.

 Hear from these students how sharing with each other through video-calling has created transformative learning experiences.  Fabien Cousteau talks with classrooms around the world via Skype as part of the historic Mission 31 expedition


Learn More About Skype for Business

The following two links will provide basic training in how to get started using Skype for Business. You will be able to view videos that demonstrate how to use key features of Skype for Business, along with step by step instructions.

Skype for Business Training - provides an introduction to Skype for Business, including how to install the client, sign in and configure audio and video.

Communicate Your Way - provides further training on such topics as using Skype from within Outlook, and sharing your desktop.


If you want to find out more about how Skype can be used in the classroom, then please take a look at the Skype in the Classroom section of the Microsoft Education Website. However, please be aware that this website is talking about the free version of Skype, available for anyone to download, rather than the Office 365 Skype for Business product. However, they are very similar products that basically do the same thing. So whether you choose to use Skype for Business, or just download and use the free version of Skype, hopefully the results will be just as rewarding.

Skype in the Classroom