Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mystery Skypes: Add Adventure to Your Classrooms

Many resources exist to help teachers understand the power of Mystery Skypes.

The Mystery Skypes 2012-2013 is a good starting place. There you will information about how to locate classes interested in signing up for Mystery Skypes and two videos about Mystery Skypes.

For more information about Mystery Skypes, check Pernille's blog post: So You Want to Do Mystery Skype. She gives detailed information about how to run an effective Mystery Skype and provides an video. Also, check the comment section.

Now that you have checked a variety resources about Mystery Skypes, consider these questions:
  • How do you think students will react? What skills will student gain from the Skype? What might they learn?
  • What kinds of advanced planning do you think a teacher needs to take to make the concept work?  What should a teacher do after a Mystery Skype for follow up?
  • How can a Mystery Skype complement the curriculum? 
  • What questions do you have about Mystery Skypes? 
  • Would you be willing to try one in your classroom?
  • What the two recommended resources, The Mystery Skypes 2012-2013 and So You Want to Do Mystery Skype helpful to you? If so, how? 


Danielle N. said...

It is ironic that this will be the topic of our next class, because when I was replying to some tweets on Twitter last week, a 4th grade teacher asked if I wanted to do a Mystery Skype with her class and we are currently tweeting back and forth about how we might go about it. I love the idea of doing this because it is a great way to use technology and to introduce kids to the greater world, I know my students will be so excited about doing it, and it dovetails perfectly with the geography unit that we will begin in late fall/early winter. In fact, my students are interested in having pen pal fourth graders from another school and I wonder if once we have made the Skype connection with another class if they would like to keep the communication going by writing one another letters or even emails. What a perfect way for kids to learn about U.S. (or world!) geography, practice their listening and communication skills, and see the sheer power of technology at work? Being in a school with a demographic that is predominantly white and affluent, my students do not often get to see or interact with much real diversity on a typical day. I want to open their eyes to our multicultural, multiethnic world. I will definitely be connecting to another classroom this year. I would like to use open-ended questions instead of hints, because it will also teach kids to be more strategic in their questioning and will hold them accountable for what they have already learned about the mystery class. I also love the suggested jobs so EVERYONE gets involved. Pretty much, all that's left to do is make the connection, make the plan, and prep the class for an amazing opportunity!

Brianna said...

I think this is a great idea. Because the students will have to figure out where the other class is, you can work on what makes a good question, what is important to understand about settings and how to be observant, (do they have an accent, do they look like you, what do you see in their classroom). Even if you have students that are not comfortable talking during the skype ( I am one of them), they can still participate by submitting questions for you, or other students to ask.

Christina N said...

I have never heard of Mystery Skypes before, but I think it is a great idea! The whole push for the common core is for students to use critical thinking skills and problem solving and from what I saw, the mystery skypes do just that. The first thought I had was how to incorporate math into the skype with Joan Young's class and it might be possible to use coordinates of locations. Not to mention the critical thinking skills students are practicing, but the students in the video were totally engaged!

Felicia's Blog said...

I am on board with Mystery Skypes. It really seems like an effective way to teach across curriculums. This would be an ideal way to incorporate Social studies in an English class. Students can apply content, practice terms or research information to help them with learn the location of the Mystery Skype.

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