Skype + Education = A Mystery in the Making

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Mrs. Marino’s 4th Grade Class

Have you Skyped?  Me either….until today!  I have read about educators all over doing this thing called a Mystery Skype for months now, but I have not stopped long enough to even research it.  I’m glad I finally did.  Today was my first Skype ever.  I am absolutely hooked.  Seriously.  It was incredible.  I was lucky enough to Skype for the first time with Heather Cooper from Flower Mound, Texas.  Find her on Twitter.  (She also plays a huge role in The World Book Talk…look it up!)  Yesterday, when I was scared to death that I was going to mess something up on my first Skype, my friend Angie agreed to practice with me.  We sat in her classroom and Skyped each other.  It was hilarious, but we learned how to maneuver our way through a Skype and eased my mind in the process.  The first thing I did today when I got to school was hang a huge Texas map up in the hall.  That way we can keep track of all the Skypes we do this year.  And I plan on doing A LOT!  Then I set up the room.  I scooted my pods of desks back to make space for kids to spread around on the floor.  We set up different stations.  Three groups had Texas road maps and one iPad.  Several people were on desktops.  Two children recorded all the questions and answers and two children asked the questions.  When researching how to do Mystery Skypes, I read about the importance of student jobs, and I am so thankful that I did.  It kept everything organized.  We all knew our roles.  Then we waited patiently.  We literally stared at my computer waiting for the call.  When Mrs. Cooper’s class popped up on our screen, we all started applauding.  Mrs. Cooper’s class then lead us through our very first Skype.  They were pros.  It was so cool to watch them with their dry erase boards and maps and iPads.  They asked great questions.  They were organized.  They were engaged, and so were we.  They guessed where we were, then we did the same.  My favorite part of this project happened toward the end.  We just chatted with one another.  They told us about their HUGE city , and we told them about our little town.  We have dirt roads and “flood days” at our school.  They have highways and “snow days”.  We live close to the beach, and they are very close to Six Flags.  What did we have in common…Video Games of course.  This was a wonderful experience, and I am glad that I get to provide my students with the chance to connect with other towns and cities in Texas.  My question for you is….when do you want to Skype with my class??

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3 thoughts on “Skype + Education = A Mystery in the Making

  1. I am so excited for you. I am so excited for the kids in your classroom. Can’t wait to hear about the next place your class visits.

  2. It’s something I’ve been thinking if doing, too. I’ve Skyped just once before with a book author. After meeting you at MobileMania, and learning that you also teach 4th grade, I wondered if we might be able to skype with our classes. I’ll have to look up the mystery thing, but I was thinking (and this is NOT completely thought out) of doing some sort of science project where the two classes could share/compare their data/results.

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