I'm a big fan of free internet telephone/video call system Skype, so I'm pleased to see someone's made use of it for educational purposes. The York Archaeological Trust, which runs one of Britain's leading museums/historical experiences in the Jorvik Viking Centre, has successfully completed the pilot of a scheme where schoolchildren who can't visit the site take part in 45 minute video chats with costumed characters who talk about "their" history and answer questions. The scheme will now be launched to primary schools (very young children) nationally, with Romans and Tudors as well as Vikings, and I wonder if it could go international eventually? Or maybe ditch the costumes and up the age group? Medieval News had a quote from Rachel Tumman, the education manager: Skype Experiences take this one step further, making educational resources more widely available in a cost effective way...The beauty is that they remove the boundaries of geography and enable any school with a broadband connection and interactive whiteboard to take part. The costumed characters can also show and talk about precious objects that are not generally available for public viewing; and children can interact with the characters - in real time, either by speaking with them on screen or via a chatroom facility."