November 8, 2017

Skype in the Classroom


Mystery Skype is an educational game that was invented by teachers. It encourages students to practice many 21st-century skills. It is a wonderful digital tool to help students learn and solidify their understanding of collaboration, critical thinking, teamwork, cultural awareness, digital literacy, deductive reasoning, and geography. Students are able to work with other partner classrooms across the United States or beyond. They answer only yes and no questions to determine where their "partner skyper" classroom is located. Mystery Skype lessons and activities can be adapted for all subject areas and grade levels; both elementary and secondary included.

Rebecca Kerr, 3rd Grade Teacher
Eugene Field Elementary

Mrs. Kerr has been using Mystery Skype in her classroom for the last three years. She believes that it has been impactful in so many ways but has made the biggest impact with breaking down the barriers of the classroom. "Using skype has allowed my students to gain exposure to things and people outside of their immediate community. Many of my students have never left the city, let alone the state. It provides them the opportunity to see other students and communities that are similar and different to our own. They get to see kids and places that are different while also seeing all they have in common despite their geographical distances." 

One challenge she has run into is letting go and releasing her control. She said, "all teachers have some level of control and like to be in the details of what goes on in their classrooms. However, I have learned that I have to let some of that control go. Using this activity has pushed me to step into more of a coaching role allowing my students to take over and lead. It's important that they begin to take the initiative when it comes to their learning. I definitely realize that I have to be a facilitator, not a controller and let them lead each other and themselves."

Mrs. Kerr believes that it is her role and responsibility to give her students experiences that go beyond the typical classroom; experiences that will carry over into the world outside of her classroom walls. "65% of the students in my classroom today will be working in jobs that haven't been created yet. I have to prepare them for that and give them the tools they will need to be successful. They will be working in a world where there are no bosses to tell them what to do and when to do it, or how to accomplish the task. They have to become problem-solvers who are able to collaborate and think critically."

Through the use of Mystery Skype, Mrs. Kerr has seen students become more engaged and excited about collaboration and learning. She is providing students a hands-on and in-depth learning experiences that will prove to be influential and impactful well beyond the third grade. 

A Look at Mrs. Kerr's Mystery Skype Session

Helpful Links

Email Mrs. Kerr
Mrs. Kerr's Twitter Account
Video: The Magic of Mystery of Skype
Video: GoNoodle Mystery Skype Song
Blog: Mrs. Long's Classroom Skype
Blog Post: Using Mystery Skype as a Classroom Tool
Microsoft Education: Find a Mystery Skype Class
Pinterest: Mystery Skype Boards to Follow
Sample Lesson Plan with Links



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