I don’t know if this is the first, but it’s certainly an early example of how Skype and other VOIP products are going to create a new form of business: Accessible voice services. An Online Language School Uses Skype to Teach English:
Isle of Man (UK)-based school Telephonenglish.com [not the most elegant of website names, and you have to wonder how the spelling will rub off on students] has committed itself to using Skype VoIP technology to teach English to its global clients. “The quality and the popularity of the Skype VoIP telephony service makes it the obvious choice for our e-learning services,” said Telephonenglish founder Martin Curtis.
Telephonenglish.com was founded in September 2004 to take advantage of cheap internet telephony as a means of teaching English students around the world who are either too isolated, or simply too busy to travel to a traditional language school for classes.
“The ability to send files during the lesson, as well as using the text-based chat facility during the e-lesson, makes Skype a perfect platform for affordable online learning,” said Martin Curtis.
So who is Telephonenglish.com? It’s four full-time teachers, and as far as I can figure out from the websites, students get emailed the lessons in advance, download Skype and then will get called by the teacher at a booked time.