Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
1 Connect to Self - 20 Questions Game
Connect students to a Mystery Skype by playing a game of 20 questions. Model how the game is played and why the type of questions are important. Remind students that only yes and no questions can be asked. Discuss and reflect on what made better questions in solving the puzzle.
2 Digital Citizenship -
Students will need background in "netiquette" when doing a Mystery Skype. Have students come up with a list of ideas for behavior during a Mystery Skype. Ideas may include:
- Keep hands to yourself during the Mystery Skype
- Look at the cam when speaking
- Speak clearly and loudly
- Listen to responses from the other class
- Be an active participant
Common Sense Education is an excellent resource to extend the lesson on digital citizenship. Digital Compass offers as interactive adventure to learn the basics in a fun and engaging way.
3 Mystery Skype Roles
Roles are important during a Mystery Skype. An example of roles created by Pernille Ripp can be found in her blog post here. Create a list of roles with the class. Add the roles to a Google Form and have students request the role they would like through the survey. (A step-by-step for creating a Google Form can be found here) Use the results to assign students roles for the Mystery Skype. This will also serve as a way to keep track of students that have completed a role by highlighting their name.
4 Connecting with Classes
5 The Mystery Skype
Arrange students for the Mystery Skype. Be sure to remove any items or clothing in the room that may give away your location.
Have students with roles ready to be begin the Skype. Students that are observing should also have devices to hand Post-It notes with questions as they are using Google Maps to research based on the answers.
Be sure to test your equipment and Google Hangout/Skype before beginning the Skype.
Take turns with the other classroom and attempt to guess you location. Depending on the age level, will depend if you attempt to locate the exact city.
If there is time at the end of the Skype, allow questions between classrooms. This is important part of the Skype because students learn more about their global community.
The reflection piece after the Mystery Skype is an essential piece in the learning. Allow time to review how the Skype went. Ask students to evaluate the positive aspects of the Skype and what could be done differently in the next one. What did they learn about the other classroom? Have a student take notes on the discussion so the information can be gone over before the next Mystery Skype.
Key Standards Supported
Speaking & Listening
Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.