Friday, March 14, 2014

My First #MysteryHangout

I facilitated my first Mystery Hangout today. Mystery Hangouts are just like a Mystery Skype, but done with Google Hangouts. In a Mystery Hangout two classes in different parts of the country video chat with each other, asking questions to try and guess the location of the other.

I heard of Mystery Skyping before but didn't have the opportunity to participate in one. Then I came across a random Tweet from @afitzgerald who was looking to Mystery Hangout with a class from every state. Since Nevada was one of her missing states I immediately jumped at the chance. Luckily one of the 5th grade teachers in my school was willing to give it a try as well!

Ms. Fitzgerald was kind enough to give us some resources and tips. She explained how her students were assigned jobs and how we took turns asking yes or no questions.

We didn't let our class know about the Mystery Hangout until the day before. The kids were excited but had concerns about language (we told them the other class could be anywhere in the world), what kinds of questions to ask, and how we would figure out where they were.

Below are pictures of the students during the Mystery Hangout.
Asking questions to the other class.
Students were anxiously waiting for answers to our questions.
Recording questions and answers.
Researchers getting ready to start hunting down that class!

Saying good bye to the class at the very end.
My favorite part? At one point our class was asking a really good question that would help narrow down the geographical location quite a bit. I don't remember what the question was, just that every student was focused on the video, waiting for the response. When the answer was given the whole class was in an uproar as they turned back to their maps, computers, and charts trying to decide the next question. It was amazing! Every student was engaged and riveted on the questions and answers.

A big shout out and thank you to Ms. Fitzgerald for helping us do our first Mystery Hangout. Another shout out to Ms. Schneider for agreeing to let her class to do this Mystery Hangout! If you ever have the opportunity to do a Mystery Hangout, I suggest you jump on it!

ISTE NET-S Standards

  • 2.a Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media
  • 2.b Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
  • 2.c Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures

  • 3.b Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
  • 3.c Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
Read More »