"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body"
~ Richard Steele ~

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mystery Skypes

Mystery Skypes have been a favorite this year with students. It has been the perfect avenue for teaching digital citizenship. Each time we Skype, we rotate roles so students have an opportunity to learn new skills. Below is a list we use as a foundation.


Inquirers - These students are in charge of asking relevant YES/NO questions.
Responder – These students answer questions from the other class.

Clue Keepers - Clue keepers keep track of what we have learned from the other class. These people work with the mappers to determine the next question. We often come back to the data and evaluate how we did in this process.

Runner - This person is in charge of running between all the other jobs. They share information that is gathered as well as bring questions to the inquirers. They help to keep order so that everyone isn't yelling out across the room.

Mappers/Reasearchers - Students use devices and atlases to sort through the clues. These people also will decide what direction to take if we have an answer that may lead us down a different path.

Photographer - A student who takes pictures of the event so that they can be posted or reviewed later. It is interesting to watch the dynamics of the class during a Skype.
Lead - This is a student who monitors the atmosphere of the class. They work in connection with the runner.

During a Mystery Skype, all students are participating in some form. They may have devices out and offer questions or ideas to the runner via sticky notes. Students learn that it is important to have everyone involved in the session to be successful.

When we first started doing Mystery Skypes, it was definitely not organized. An important part to every Skype is the reflection. By reflecting on the event, students discuss what went well and what we could do to improve. They offer suggestions to change things for the next time. Their awareness of digital citizenship has improved drastically from the beginning. Cultural diversity, netiquette and appropriate behavior in front of a cam have all changed over time with this real-life experience.