23rd Feb 2016
It has always been a dream of mine to conduct a Mystery Skype lesson. Due to many constraints, I wasn’t able to conduct any last year but Alhamdulillah, I managed to kick start 2016 with a Mystery Skype classroom for my form 4 (16 years old) students.
Since it is my first time conducting the session, I have to admit that I have a lot of concerns whether my students will do their homework (studying about their roles), is it going to be too tough for my students to construct questions, will I be able to control the classroom so the session will go on smoothly and many more.
Mystery Skype might sound and seem intimidating for those who have never heard about this activity. The fact that we are going to connect with a classroom from other parts of the world can be scary for some educators and even for our students. However, after my class very first success with this activity, I can assure you that this activity is NOT intimidating as it sounds/seems. It is in fact VERY fun for both educators and students.
If you are worried that your Geography knowledge is not that good, you can invite a Geography teacher as ‘content knowledgeable others’ to guide your students throughout the session. So, as a language teacher, you can focus on your students’ language development.
Firstly, let me try to simplify what Mystery Skype is actually is. It is an activity where two classes from different places (districts/states/countries) connect through Skype. The main mission is to guess the location of the other classroom using YES/NO questions. It is THAT SIMPLE. Teachers please remember NOT to accidentally tell the students about the location of the other classroom.
After both classes manage to guess the locations, there will be a sharing session where students will share about their culture, language and many more. Sounds fun and doable, right?
Here is a rough outline on the flow of a Mystery Skype session (will be updated from time to time)
1. Educators create an account to connect with fellow educators from other parts of the world
2. Set time/ date for a Mystery Skype session
3. Assign roles for students
4. Carry out Mystery Skype in the classroom.
5. Post Mortem with the students – discuss what they have learned/ what can be improved
In my next post I will share the lesson plan that I have outlined for the Mystery Skype session.
If you are interested to have a Mystery Skype session with my classroom (the students can guess which state/ district that the other class is in) do add on Skype: kamm abdullah
Here are some of the pictures of our very first Mystery Skype session.