One of the most exciting activities that we participated in this term has been Mystery Skype. Using it we have travelled virtually to Maine USA, Moscow and Stockholm without leaving our classroom and all thanks to Skype.
It is a engaging way to bring geography to life and teach map skills.
It provides many opportunities for some incidental learning as students use clues, to search maps, atlases and online in an effort to find the location of the other school.
It provides a wonderful opportunity to integrate technology into a geography lesson
It also provides an opportunity for the students to practice their listening and speaking skills as they must communicate effectively for the activity to proceed.
In the process the students become aware of different time zones.
Get an opportunity to practice problem solving.
Prior to the session the students have to brainstorm in an effort to provide logical questions to ask. Students need to practice asking with yes and no questions.
They also need to become familiar with the location of countries and how they relate to each other.Everyone is assigned a role although in the excitement of the process some students can be easily distracted and not complete their task.
It provides an opportunity for the students to improve their Internet search skills.
In order that the session is successful it is important that the students remain fairly quiet and sometimes it can be difficult to hear the other participants.
Student mus also be willing to take their inddividual task seriously as each student's role is important to the chances of solving the mystery location.
Skype provides the opportunity for students to make global connections and to actually converse with students who actually live in another part of the world.
One problem with Skype is that when the call starts the name and location of the caller is displayed. It is important to be aware of this otherwise alert students will have solved the location before you start.