Before the Christmas holidays, I worked alongside pupils and staff in Primary 6 at Saint Mary’s Primary School to have my first ever Mystery Skype session. Initially, I contacted a teacher via the Microsoft Educator Community site. I had to ensure the teachers I was contacting were available during my school day due to different time zones. I began to speak to a teacher in Canada through email and discussed how we would take the call forward.
We played Mystery Skype. This is a guessing game for both classes as they have to find out where each class is located in the world by asking yes and no questions. In preparation, the Microsoft Educator site has a OneNote available which includes details for jobs children could do and how to prepare for the call. I visited P6 and the children applied for their roles based on their own skills and knowledge. I then allocated roles and we did a test Skype to make sure everyone knew what they were doing.
On the day of the Mystery Skype, the children connected and began to ask and answer questions. Every child was engaged and stayed in role throughout. It was amazing when the children in Canada managed to pin point Saint Mary’s Primary in Bonnyrigg. It turned out they were located in Nova Scotia, Canada. From this the children had a conversation with the children in Nova Scotia and found out they were off school the week before because of bad snow and that with high winds it was -30 degrees Celsius. They also learned more about Canadian Christmas traditions.
What a fantastic learning opportunity for both schools involved. The ability to take a class of pupils on a virtual trip to another class across the world is a great representation of how technology can enhance learning and provide learning opportunities beyond the four walls of your classroom.