Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mystery Skype-Take 1

I first learned about Mystery Skype back in April when I attended Edcamp Boston. Here's a great blog post from Mrs. Yollis' classroom explaining the process. I thought it would be a great thing to try with my students in the computer lab. Unfortunately, one thing got in the way of another and the 2011-2012 school year ended without an attempted Mystery Skype.

Now that the new school year is in full swing, I knew I wanted to start setting up some Skype sessions as soon as possible. Thinking that my district is "America's Home Town," I figured Thanksgiving season was a perfect time to get started. I sent out a tweet and got a response almost immediately! Then I got another and another! Now, I'm relatively new to participating on Twitter so I was truly giddy that other teachers were willing to give this Mystery Skype thing a shot with a newbie like me! Since I am a technology teacher and I work with students in grades K-5, I am flexible about working with whatever time-frame is best for my Skype partner; it's just that I can't guarantee an exact match to their grade level. I don't think this is such a big deal because students will be asking yes/no questions and I have tried to keep the sessions within one grade level.

Christy Rockwood was so gracious in offering up her experience at Mystery Skype calls but for several reasons (Hurrican Sandy/power outages/no network at my school) we just weren't able to connect prior to her field trip to Plimoth Plantation. I'm still optimistic we'll Skype another time!! At this point, it looks like my first Mystery Skype experience will be with Suzanne Yoder and her fourth grade students on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday afternoon, I've scheduled another Skype call with Heather Reilly and her fourth grade class. I have two different fifth grade classes scheduled for these calls but I know I'm going to want to plan many more during the year.

I'm planning on having students record the Mystery Skype sessions and I will be sure to write about the experiences once completed. The anticipation is so exciting!! I just can't wait!