Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mystery Skype

Are you somewhere in the world? Is your continent...

Does the previous line of questioning sound familiar? If not, you really need to try a mystery skype. I responded to a request for volunteers to team with a friend of fellow blogger, Charlotte. After many attempts, we were able to finalize a time and date to meet with her colleague Mrs. Debbie Dixon.

I had done a mystery skype before, but didn't use a firm set of guidelines. This time would be different. We had a greeter, questioners, responders, map readers, researchers, and a student that let the other school know it was their turn.  My students don't have access to Google Docs and don't have Gmail accounts. We decided to use Today's Meet to track questions. I had two students typing the questions they asked on laptops. The other students could see the question track on our iPads. Students used desktop maps, Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google.
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My students only knew the students were "somewhere in the world". Once they answered our call, the Skype was underway. My messenger was the only one that heard the teacher's "accent" and they were so involved they didn't hear the "y'all" comment at one point. Those two bits of information weren't needed. Fresh from a tornado drill, my kids asked if they were near Tornado Alley. Within 20 minutes we identified their state and city. We continued to search for the name of their school while they sought the name of our village.

It was such a fun, educational experience for both sets of students. We gathered some important question lines to ask our next visitors, and made new friends. We hope to meet up again with Mrs. Dixon's students.

My students are hooked on Skyping. Anyone interested in meeting with us? I have one other Mystery Skype planned for my other set of students.

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