Mystery Skype

Mystery Skype: Teaching with Technology to Connect Students Worldwide

Reasons to do Mystery Skype

  • Creates a global community of learners
  • Critical Thinking
  • Geography skills
  • Listening and Speaking skills
  • Student-Led
  • Using Resources to find information
  • Authentic purpose for research
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Challenge-Based Learning
  • Creates partners for future projects
  • Gets teachers to collaborate globally

Three Options

Option 1: (Advanced) Find the country/state or province/city of the other classroom by asking only YES/NO questions. A “YES” answer allows to ask another question. A “NO” answer gives the opposing group the chance to ask a question. 20 questions maximum. After each 5 questions a CLUE can be given.

Option 2: (Intermediate) Find the country/state or province/city of the other classroom by asking only YES/NO questions. The same classroom will keep asking questions until they find the location. After each 5 questions a CLUE can be given.

Option 3: (Beginning). Students will find the location of the other class using clues that the other class gives. It can go back and forth with each team taking turns with questions and answers. This will help younger students stay engaged and keep the frustration level at a minimum..

Here are the roles that one teacher uses for Mystery Skype in her classroom:

Greeter -1 student – Does exactly that: greets the incoming class by speaking about our class and going over the rules. At the end of the call they are also the ones that thank for the call. Once their job is done they merge into the think tank.

Questioner – 1 or 2 students – they are the kids that ask the yes or no questions, often it is beneficial if these kids have a decent grasp of geography and can come up with questions on the fly.

Filter – 2 kids or more – These kids act as a filter between the runners and the questioners assessing the questions that are coming their way. They have to pay close attention to what answers are and what has already been asked as the think tank often misses an answer. They can then use their common sense to filter the best questions to the questioners.

Answerer – 1 student – answers yes or no to the questions and should have a good grasp of geography.

Runners – 3 students – the runners are responsible for communication between all of the different posts and often wear signs or their shirts to identify them. We love the runners because they keep the chaos down.

Google Mappers – 2 students – Use Google Maps to try to help with questions or find the answer. Should be connected to think tank.

Wall map & atlas mappers – as many kids as you want – part of the think tank but are using any map tools they can to come up with more questions.

Lead thinker – the boss of the think tank – this kid needs to be a gentle leader that can keep everyone organized and on track. They ensure the think tank runs smoothly.

Supervisor – 1 student – this student oversees the entire operation and takes notes on what works and doesn’t work. They lead the debriefing we have after every Skype call to discuss what we need to work on and be proud of.

Note taker – 1 or 2 students – writes down all answers and questions during the call for easy access by filters and if any confusion occurs.

Tweeter – 1 or 2 students – these students are in charge of the backchannel whether through Twitter or TodaysMeet and add the extra layer of connectivity to the world live tweeting results and questions.

Reporters – 2 students – these two take pictures and notes throughout the call to then write a blog post on our classroom blog after the call is done. That way we can show off all of the great calls we get to be a part of.