Skype likely is not a new tool to the educational field. After all, students and professors can hook up via the communication app. But a middle school is taking this tool to a new level, using something termed "Mystery Skype", which it hopes will enrich the experience for children.
Gina Ruffcorn, a fifth grade teacher in Iowa, has outlined how she uses it in a classroom setting. The app is essentially a game that gets the children involved in a guessing game.
"Before Mystery Skype my students never considered themselves or their lives to be of much interest to anyone. They didn't believe they had anything unique or special to offer. Just small town kids in a small rural school district in Mondamin, Iowa. However, through the power of Mystery Skype my kids soon realized the reasons they perceived themselves to be ordinary were in fact the things that made them unique", Ruffcorn writes.
The game is played by two classrooms, which can be located anywhere. Students are pitted against one another and the object is to guess where each class is located. Providing there's no language barrier, this could be anywhere in the world.
"First, Mystery Skype addresses many areas of Common Core standards. Social Studies benchmarks, Speaking and Listening standards and 21st century skills can be met through the use of Mystery Skype. It incorporates the 4Cs: critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and of course communication", the teacher concludes.
You can check out both her story about the use of this service, as well as where to try out Mystery Skype by following the links below.