Friday, May 31, 2013

Mystery Skype Reflections

Over the course of the school year, my students and I participated in several Mystery Skype sessions with others from around the world. I wish I had gotten started earlier in the year and with more classes. That will be a goal for next year for sure. Also, my job change from tech teacher to tech coach put a damper on things because I actually had less access to the lab due to a substitute teacher filling in for me during my pilot program. That's a topic for another post though.

All of the students who were able to Skype thought it was cool seeing students from other classes on the board through the computer. One of the tricky parts of seeing my classes only twice a week was not having the flexibility to drop everything for a Skype session. I think this is where I may have to work at better scheduling during my teaching times or collaborate with classroom teachers during their "extra" lab sessions.

We used Google Earth, paper maps and a questioning form I created with Google Forms to help us narrow down the questions. Each class approached the mystery process differently with some students working with a partner or brainstorming in small groups. Students had options and took turns asking questions of the other classes. I actually had students record with a digital camera and video camera as well~all great records of the work we were doing. You can visit my Mystery Skype page here.

I think I may try to set up some general video chat sessions rather than limiting myself and my students to Mystery Skype or Location calls next year. I will surely explore other options and share any new ideas I try. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in a mystery location call/chat to check out Cybraryman's Mystery Location page on the web before you get started.