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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mystery Skype! {aka the coolest thing ever!}

You know that feeling you get when you're at a PD training and learn about the absolute coolest thing EVER!?  And you are bursting with excitement to get back with your students and put it into action!?!

EEK!!!!  Have y'all heard about Mystery Skype yet!?!?  It's seriously so much fun and all students of all ages will flip for this.

Here is the gist... You find/coerce/Twitter-stalk another teacher who will agree to Skype his or her class with your class at a set time/day.  Most Mystery Skypes use "What state are you in?" as the focus of the mystery.  The classes take turn asking yes/no questions to each other to determine and eventually guess where the other kiddos live.  This video is a great introduction to the concept.

You can make the Skype as simple or complex as you want.  Older students would benefit from having specific jobs during the Skype.  I think for my K kiddos it might just work best to put them in an order and let them take turns asking and answering.  In our training, we passed around an iPad.
Not only will your kids think that a Mystery Skype is incredibly fun and totally tech-tastic, but they will have to use serious critical thinking skills.  We adults learned the hard way that you "waste" questions if you aren't paying attention to what your peers ask!  (Don't ask if their state is in the Central Time Zone if you already know that their state is east of the Mississippi... Oops!)  Lucky for me I had the role of the "greeter," so I wasn't put on the spot to answer or ask the geographical questions!

Since I don't foresee the geographical concept of a Mystery Skype to work so well with Kindergarten students, I (along with the collective brainpower of the cohorts in my training) have put together a fun list of ideas to use Mystery Skype in other ways.

If you click on the picture, you can download a copy of the ideas for free.  :)

My fab tech friend Nancy also put together an awesome PearlTree with tons of great resources for Mystery Skype and Virtual Field Trips.  Mystery Skype also has it's own website where you can find ideas and link-up with other educators from around the world who would love to Skype with you and your SuperKids!

I'd love to hear about your experiences with Mystery Skype or more ideas you have for using this activity in your own classroom!  Leave a comment!  :)

1 comment:

  1. Considering mystery Skype in my preschool special ed class. Maybe hiding an object in the other teacher's classroom and guessing where the object might be (i.e. under desk, in closet, etc. What do you think? any suggestions or good ideas for questions?