Mystery Skype Challenge Connects Classrooms


Mystery Skype Locations

Technology has opened opportunities to collaborate with teachers and classrooms at a global and local scale.

In November, Technology Integrationists Bev Berns of Keystone AEA, Kim Powell of The JCISD Educational Agency in Michigan and Craig Badura of Aurora Public Schools in Nebraska challenged classrooms to participate in a Mystery Skype.  The purpose of the project was to make connections to classrooms in other states and explore curricular concepts in a collaborative, inquiry-based setting.

During the Skype session, students had to figure out where their partner classroom was located based on asking a series of questions. Some were real head-scratchers as participating classrooms were not only located in the Midwest, but also as far away as Texas, New Jersey, Maine and Pennsylvania!

In preparation, students were assigned roles for the call which included:

  • Photographers/videographers: students who documented work during the project using still and video images
  • Researchers: students who used classroom and online resources to research answers to the questions posed by the other classroom
  • Mappers: students who keep record on a paper or digital map so the classroom could view interactions that took place
  • Notetakers: students who jotted down questions and suggestions made by classmates and noted all questions and comments that come up during discussion
  • Spokesperson(s): students who were designated to speak directly with the other class via Skype
  • Reporters:  students who acted as the reporter to get the group organized and agreed upon the next question to ask the other classroom

Overall, 65 Keystone AEA area teachers joined the project and 1,943 Northeast Iowa students participated in the Mystery Skype challenge.

Keystone AEA is proud to help serve as a conduit for connecting classrooms across the state and nation so that students can explore and learn together.

Participating AEA 1 Schools/Districts
Clayton Ridge
New Hampton
North Fayette
North Winneshiek
South Winneshiek
Turkey Valley
Western Dubuque

Non-Public Schools
Seton Catholic School
Table Mound School
Sacred Heart School

The Agency is currently setting up a blogging community challenge with 17 other countries using Kidblogs. More information on this challenge is located here.

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