Last year I did my first Mystery Skype in the Classroom. I did a Mystery Number Skype with two first grade classrooms in my district (second picture). I first saw the idea on THIS BLOG and managed to talk two first grade teacher into trying it in their classrooms as part of their tech requirements for the district (our district requires 30 hours of tech training over a five year recertification cycle and documented proof of tech integration in the classroom). Since it was a first for everyone involved - both first grade teachers and myself - we thought this was the perfect starter project.
Everyone involved loved it...the teachers, the students, and us (the two tech coaches involved). The success of the experience made me want to try other Mystery Skyping sessions in the coming year so I was excited to attended a session on the topic at ISTE.
The session was led by Katrina Keene (@teachintechgal and www.teachintechgal.com). The presentation was outstanding (Here is a LINK to the presentation for anyone interested)!
The first thing that impressed me was this video of kindergarten students doing a Mystery Skype session...all of the sessions were geographically based...as in, "Guess where we are skyping you from?" The level of mapping skills the students used in this four minute video were impressive and had me HOOKED! (the video is also embedded into her presentation).
During the session itself we did two Mystery Skyping sessions. We did it with a group of 9th graders somewhere in the states on an summer exchange program (Florida) and we did it with a person who ended up being in Sweden.
With the 9th graders questions were asked like, "Are you north or south of the Mason Dixon Line?" (they had to look that up). "Are you part of the original 13 colonies?", etc...We all had our maps up on our phones and other mobile devices trying to figure out where the other group was located based on all the questions. It was a lot of fun and was helpful going through an actual session.
This is definitely something I will be sharing with teachers this year and helping to set up.