Students Participate in Global “Mystery Skype”

Fifth and sixth grade students from Emerson J. Dillon Middle School recently participated in a “Mystery Skype” with three other classrooms from all over the world.

The classes took part in a “Geography 20 Questions” exercise, where a Skype connection brought four classrooms from four different continents together. The students had to communicate with one another to determine where each classroom was located by asking and answering questions from the other classes.

“The connection went incredibly well, considering the fact that we were working with four very different time zones and almost 100 students,” said Kristin Edwards, Distance Learning Specialist for the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation. “We remained in constant contact with the other teachers leading up to the connection to be as prepared as possible.”

Classrooms from Vietnam, Croatia, Kenya and the United States took part in the exercise. The event provided students with an opportunity to connect and learn from others in different parts of the world in addition to developing a variety of skills that were required to complete their objective.

“My hope is that, in addition to working on geography awareness, map skills and communication skills, the students were also able to see that though it may seem that we are ‘worlds’ apart, we can still have so much in common with others,” Edwards said. “Similarities help connect us, and the differences make things interesting. These concepts are important life lessons at any age.”

Edwards noted that technology and distance learning connections provide an easy and efficient way to bring different classrooms and cultures together.

“Class-to-class collaborations lead to invaluable educational experiences. There is an entire world out there to discover,” Edwards said. “We are lucky to have the ability to make these connections."