(Everything you wanted to know about Mystery Skype, all in one place.)


MYSTERY SKYPE is...

"Mystery Skype is an educational game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms
on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other class by asking each other
Yes-No questions.

It's suitable for all age groups and can be used to teach subjects like Geography, History,
Languages, Mathematics and Science."
~~ from the "Skype in the Classroom" website




A -- MYSTERY SKYPE RESOURCES

* both Resource Titles and Images link to the site


1. SKYPE in the CLASSROOM
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  • the educational section of Skype)
  • has many resources for lessons and sign-up list with contacts around the world.




2. E-BOOK: Mystery Skype lesson Plan
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  • Created by Patti Grayson, a $9.99 online purchase through the PLP Network
  • Focuses on Junior students and connecting with different states of the USA, but provides excellent instructions, ideas, and resources.




3. 6th Chat Wiki page on Mystery Skype
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  • This wiki has some information and Grade 6 class connections around the world: most of which are typically located in USA, Canada, Australia, NZ.
  • It includes a sign-up contact list.




4. MysterySkypes1213 Website
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  • This website has information on everything, including a sign-up contact list.
  • The sign-up google doc is up-to-date as of the fall of 2013 (altho says 2012-2013).





6. Mystery Skype Plan and Materials (Saskatchewan Canada)
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  • Canadian outline of Grade 5 Social Studies Lesson Plan = outline of class engaged in an inquiry to understand the significance of Canada's landforms in the lives of the inhabitants; Mystery Skype is one activity




7. Mystery State Project (USA)
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  • Although this project is American in focus, it provides a great contact list for many classes across the USA.












8. Helpful Teacher Blog Posts

i) Langwitches Blog "The Excitement of Learning"
  • A great DESCRIPTION of one of the first MysterySkype calls by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano
  • "The Mystery Skype Call" a GREAT little 5-minute VIDEO explaining and showing a Skype call with Gr 3 's (look farther down the page, left hand side)

ii) Mrs. Yollis's Gr 3 Class Blog: "Mystery Skype Call with Langwitches!"
  • Good description of JOBS and PICTURES of students

iii) Pernille Ripp's Blog: "So You Want to Do A MysterySkype"
  • Great INFORMATION and VIDEO of students
  • Pernille has also posted a great JOB DESCRIPTIONS (revised 2013)

iv) The Avery Bunch Gr 6 Class Blog: "Mystery Skype Who Could It Be?"
  • Good description of JOBS and PICTURES of students

v) Langwitches Blog: "Skype Jobs for Students" by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano
  • Great VISUAL of general student ROLES for Skype Calls



7. Mystery Skype Workshop Files (DRAFT)

  • Created by Cathy Beach for "#MysterySkype: What's All the Fuss About?" ECOO conference Oct. 2013
  • --- will be completed Oct. 23rd.
  • Includes INFORMATION, RESOURCES, ASSESSMENT of process completed by Gr 7 Chemong PS students, 2011-2013.




C -- FINDING MysterySkype CONNECTIONS
* TWITTER *One of the simplest ways to make a class connectionfor a MysterySkype is using the Twitter hashtag #mysteryskype
  • Example: from October 21, 2013.
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* WEBSITES *
All of the following resources have great lists of connections as well.
At this point in time (Fall 2013), the largest number of classes are from USA, Canada,
Australia, and NewZealand, in approximately that order.






D -- STUDENT ROLES and supplies needed
As you may have seen from the numerous posts above, there are endless ways of organizing a MysterySkype Challenge. If the students are old enough, it is excellent learning for the students to allow them to define their own roles and tasks.

Here is a list of roles which different classes have created; I have grouped them in alike categories.
  • Speakers, Introducers, Closers: computer with webcam, microphone, speaker system; projection system if possible
  • Logical Reasoners, Think Tank, Inquirers: atlases/maps/digital devices, paper map copies, paper/pencils for solving clues; white boards and washable markers for messages to speakers
  • Mappers, Google Mappers, Atlas readers: atlases/maps/digital devices, washable markers, paper/pencils,
  • Question Responders, Home Class Answerers: maps of your class's country/state/province
  • Clue Keepers, Question Keepers: chart paper/markers/tape or computers to record clues, questions
  • Recorders, Clue recorders, Q+ A recorders: chart paper/markers/tape or computers
  • Photographers, Videographers: digital devices for pictures and videos
  • Bloggers, Reporters: digital devices or paper/pencil for notes
  • Runners, Messengers: white boards and washable markers
  • Technicians, Tech Support: extra extension cord, cables, etc.
  • Backchannel Organizer, Today'sMeet Leaders: digital devices
  • Observers: digital devices or paper/pencil for notes
  • Silencer: agreed upon signal for silence when needed






D -- ASSESSING a MYSTERY SKYPE Challengeand 21st Century Learning Skills
(One teacher's journey)