Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mystery Hangouts

On Global Collaboration day, our team of technology and learning coaches and technology integration specialists participated in a mystery hangout.  It was a new experience for many of the people in the room and it was so much fun.  This blog post will outline how we set up the mystery hangout, what we learned in the process, and ideas for teachers when implementing mystery hangouts in the classroom.

  1. We found a class to hangout with by requesting a connection in the Connected Classrooms Google Plus Group.  Here we posted the time and date we were seeking a connection and a general description of what we were hoping to accomplish.
  2. Before the hangout, our technology and learning coaches brainstormed two yes/no questions to ask the students regarding their location on the other side of the computer screen.
  3. We joined the hangout at the predetermined time and got to work!


Takeaways
The kids asked way better questions than the adults!  They beat us to finding out our location by asking specific, map-oriented questions.  The adults, on the other hand, asked much more open-ended (although still yes/no) questions that did not narrow our range of possibilities for finding out the location.

For example, while the kids asked “are you west of the Mississippi River?” the adults asked “Do flowers bloom in November in your state?”.  When the students asked “do you border the Atlantic ocean?” the adults simply asked “does it snow in your state?”    

This activity took very little time and had both teachers and students on the edge of their seats with engagement.  

Consider using an activity like this in your class if:
-You are studying a unit on landforms or types of communities (these concepts can turn into your questions)
-You are studying a specific region (and can turn the regions into yes/no questions)
-You want to work on types of questioning, inquiry, or persistence in learning
-You just want to have fun and show the diversity of the world
-You want to develop a relationship with a class abroad and have periodic check-ins about any content

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