The 4th edition of the Microsoft Skype-a-Thon saw participants from 102 countries travel a total of 23 million virtual miles in the span of two days. 11,000 students took part from over 300 schools across India, covering 4.26 million virtual miles, the most by any country globally.
Held on Nov 13 and 14, the annual event continued its theme of ‘Open Hearts. Open Minds’. It allowed students to experience new cultures, go on virtual field trips, hear from guest speakers and learn from other students, educators and experts from around the world by traveling virtual miles over Skype over a 48 hour period. Skype-a-Thon saw discussions on diverse topics including conservation, history, computer science, and students also shared cultural experiences through song and dance, games, reading, stories, and virtual field trips, exchanging ideas and learning from each other. The India miles were inaugurated by Anant Maheshwari, President- Microsoft India, and the sessions also focused on AI in education, cybersecurity, empathy and inclusiveness.
“We thank all our guest speakers, educators and participating students in making this year’s Skype-a-Thon a huge success. It was wonderful to feel the energy and power of classrooms connecting across the world. What made it even special is that the 23 million virtual miles travelled also raised funds to support the education resourced for up to 35000 children in WE villages. It is a matter of great pride for India to have covered the most virtual miles among all the participating countries across seven continents,” said Manish Prakash, Country General Manager-PS, Health and Education, Microsoft India.
Microsoft had announced earlier that for every 400 virtual miles traveled by Skype-a-Thon participants, the company will donate to WE, a non-profit organization that helps students internationally. WE’s holistic, sustainable international development model is built on five pillars of impact – Education, Water, Health, Food and Opportunity. Microsoft’s donation will support WE Village’s Education pillar to provide access to education for up to 35000 children (supporting UN Sustainable Development Goal #4 – Quality Education.)