Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mystery Skype!:Connecting Our Classrooms One Skype at a Time!

Update: Classroom Spotlight of my class doing a 2016 Mystery Skype.

My students and I had our first Mystery Skype with Ms.Young's, (@flourishingkids), class from the state of ____________________. I can't tell you, that's the mystery. :)

The Mystery Skype project is when each class tries to determine where the other class is located. The benefits of this activity are endless, global connections, geography, integrating tech, communicating effectively, the list is endless!

I participated in Mystery Skype last year, but this one was different.  I decided to take advantage of the links Ms.Young emailed, and let my students choose Skype jobs. What a difference in the quality of the Skype! My students worked so hard, and I was extremely proud of them.

I incorporated the following jobs. The Inquirers, who came up with the questions in advance. A photgrapher, a videographer, a Tweeter, and a couple of students on Today's Meet (backchanneling).  The researchers, who took their job very seriously, on Google Earth, and using actual atlases. They did an excellent job of passing on information to the Answerers. 

Did everything go smoothly? Of course not! :) My class decided to answer altogether, instead of letting the Answerers answer. They got some of the geographical information wrong, but quickly corrected themselves.My photgrapher took about a million pictures, some of them of the same thing. And two of my more "outspoken" students attempted to argue with each other in the middle of the Skype. (A 5 minute time out in a buddy teacher's room took care of that situation). At one point we asked questions when it wasn't our turn. But you know what, it was all good! We had a great time and learned a lot.

When we had guessed each others state, which by the way is an amazing feeling for our kids, Ms.Young suggested our kids ask questions about each other(i.e. What do you like to do for fun?) I readily agreed, and the kids enjoyed this part of our interaction as well.

After viewing a tutorial on Google Maps, I set up a Mystery Skype map that we will use whenever we Skype with another class.I then embedded the map on a page of our Class Weebly page.

There are many ways to participate in a Mystery Skype:

We are preparing for our 2nd Mystery Skype on Thursday with Mr. Yetter's class (@coachyetter), and my students are hyped! Try it and you will see, there's no mystery as to why this is a wonderful learning experience for all!


  1. We LOVE Mystery Skype! We have used jobs (a little different than the ones on that list), and it makes the whole thing more inclusive. I love to listen to how their questions get better and better with each new try at it. We'd love to Mystery Skype with you, if you're interested. I think we follow each other on Twitter (I'm @jenbearden), so you could DM me if you want to set up a time! So glad you're doing this!