Friday, November 20, 2015

Mystery Skype

Have you ever heard of a mystery Skype? Several schools that I know of in the United States are participating in this new form of “pen pals”. While the focus is different, in that it isn’t so much focused on a continuous relationship, it is a way of connecting students from different places. The idea is that two teachers arrange a time for their classes to Skype with one another.  The teachers do not provide any information for their students about the other class. The students then ask questions that can be answered with a 'yes' or 'no' in order to determine where the other class is located. Then, there is time to ask questions about what life is like or share other information about the location.

Two weeks ago, we participated in one of these mystery Skype sessions with a class in Summerville, South Carolina. In the days leading up to our call, I talked with our After-School kids about maps and geography. We had some really fun lessons learning about other parts of the world. Our kids were very curious about what life is like in some of the other countries. We also talked about what kinds of questions would help us get to the answer the most quickly. On Friday, we had all of the kids in front of the computer as we talked with a 4th grade class in the States. Each class took turns asking questions of the other group. They were so excited as they got closer and closer to guessing the correct place. Afterwards, it was fun to exchange information about where we live. We even got to walk the computer outside and show those 4th graders the horses, sheep, and chickens that were hanging out outside our building!

A big thanks to Nicole R. for planning this. It was great fun. Our kids couldn’t stop talking about it even into the next week! Below are some pictures I took on the day we had our mystery Skype. The quality is not very good because the internet signal that we were using was coming from my phone and I couldn't get very far away from the computer :) I hope you'll still enjoy seeing the kids.

Some of our girls checking the Atlases
This was our view of Nicole's class on the screen
Our "selfie" as we Skyped from Romania to South Carolina
- Paul

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