Thursday, April 9, 2015

Finding #MysterySkype Connections

Now that you are interested in #MysterySkype, you might be wondering: Where do you find the classes to connect with? There are three simple ways that will get you a ton of connections to work with.

Skype in the Classroom Website

The official Skype in the Classroom website is a great place to start making connections. To start you'll need to login with your Skype ID or Microsoft ID. Next click on the Mystery Skype link at the top of the page.

On the next page you'll see two ways to find teachers who want to Mystery Skype. On the left side are some menus where you can filter by subject, age, or region. You can also see the contact information for those classroom teachers. If you choose United States as the country you will also be able to choose a specific state. Many teachers try to do a Mystery Skype with all 50 states and use this option to find classrooms in the states they still need.

Once you find a teacher you want to work with, click on their name and you'll be taken to their profile page. You can see a short bio, Skype lessons they are involved in, and contact information.

The other option is to use the interactive map. Click the blue Search the Map button, just above the first section. With the interactive map you can zoom in and out on any region/country/state. The closer you zoom in on a location the more teachers you'll find in that area that use Skype. Click on any teacher to be taken to their profile page.

While you are on the website be sure to check out the other awesome resources. Click on the Find a Lesson link and you'll see lessons from authors, scientists, and other experts. Your class can participate in and connect with any one of these global classroom projects. These are great resources to help your students have amazing learning experiences.


If you are a Twitter user (and you should be) there is a vibrant and active community of teachers using the #mysteryskype hashtag. Tweet out your connection requests including this hashtag and be sure to include vital information such as the age/grade level of your students. You can even request connections from specific states or countries.

I have a column for the #mysteryskype hashtag in TweetDeck that I use to keep up on all things #mysteryskype. Teachers and classes use the hashtag not only for requests, but to share successes and ideas. Following the hashtag will introduce you to a lot of other teachers doing the same thing as you!


Several teachers maintain lists of teachers and classes that do Mystery Skypes. I've bookmarked these lists and no longer remember where they originated. If you are the owner of these lists, please let me know so I can give you proper credit!

Mystery Skype List - this one has almost 300 teachers listed from all over the US and Canada.

Mystery Location Sign Up - this list has names of classes from all around the world, sorted by time zone to make it easy for you.

Mystery State/Country - this list of over 500 names goes back to 2011! It was started and is maintained by Caren MacConnell.

Don't forget the Time Zone!

I always get excited when I make a connection with another state that we haven't Skyped with. The farther away the better, because I don't know if students will ever be able to visit those states. But I kept forgetting about the time zone! Sometimes it works out, other times we can't connect because we're not in school yet, or they get out too soon, etc. Plus with Daylight Saving Time I'm never sure what the time difference is.

A valuable resource that I've found is the Time Zone Converter. To use this simple tool, you select your city and the other state. You can search for them if you need to. Then click the green Convert time button and you'll see what time it is for you and what time it is for them. This is a great visual for me to make sure we can connect!

Just do it!

It may be kind of intimidating to connect with another teacher and invite them into your classroom. How will your students behave? What will the other teacher think? Will your students ask the right questions? Are they (or you) fully prepared?

Don't worry about it! The other teachers involved in #mysteryskypes are a great group of people and totally understanding. Mention that you are just starting and they'll be happy to guide you through the process.

Don't forget to read my Mystery Skype page for other tips about making your Mystery Skype session successful!

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