Recently I happened to be on Twitter when I saw a tweet pop up on #wvedchat. A teacher was requesting a Mystery Skype session with a K-5 class from West Virginia. I’ve never done Mystery Skype, and it’s something that I’ve only recently been hearing more about. Since I don’t have my own classroom, I sought out the first teacher I knew that might be up for letting me assist him with this project. He was more than happy to have his class participate after I explained the concept to him, and thought it would be fun for his 5th graders to do.
After explaining the concept with him, I contacted the teacher again to let her know I had a classroom for her, and we’ve settled on a potential day- May 13 in the morning. That gives me two afternoons next week to prep the class for this activity. I fear that it may not be enough, but we’ve all got to start somewhere, and this is part of the reason why I picked an older class to try it with.
So far I’ve done a little bit of research and found the Mystery Skype page on Skype’s website. I’ve gotten ahold of the OneNote Class Notebook, and now have to figure out a logical way to present things to the class to prepare them for their job ahead. I’m not worried about the connecting part itself. I’ve done Skype video calls through the school network myself, and will most likely have my computer set up for the activity. I have a great webcam with a built-in mic that I’ll use as well.
I figure if I can get together a teaching plan to prepare the class during the days I am at this school next week, and things for the teacher to do when I am not here, then it will go more smoothly. I know he will need specific directions to go along with the Class Notebook that I’ll share with him. Most of the students do have their Office 365 accounts, but there are also those who were not given permission to receive one yet this year. I’m going to attempt to tweak it so that we don’t need those.
I believe my biggest fear currently is that this will go terribly wrong in the end. I fear that even with enough planning, the students won’t be ready, or something will go awry. I know the only way to tackle said fear is to plan and hope for the best. We definitely won’t run super smoothly the first time, but we’ll do our best and reflect to figure out what could be done differently in the end.
I am eager to see how this will all turn out in the end. It’s an exciting endeavor and one I hope the kids will find engaging. If anyone has any tips or tricks for our first time, please tweet them my way: @tisinaction.