TL Advisor Blog

Connecting Around the World! Mystery Skype, Twitter & Google Hangouts!

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June 17, 2014 By: Patricia Brown

Jun 17

Written by:
6/17/2014 3:05 AM  RssIcon

Connecting around the world! 
It's time to change the way we teach!
Using Mystery Skype, Twitter, and Google Hangouts are great ways this can be done!

We need to allow our students to really collaborate. Not only with each other, but with others outside of your classroom walls.

Skype in The Classroom anyone?
Skype can be used in the classroom to support your curriculum, such as participating in a Mystery Skypes, Author visits via Skype Experts, or Skype with another classroom to share projects or become pen pals. 
http://www.katemessner.com/authors-who-skype-with-classes-book-clubs-for-free/

There are over 70,000 educators around the world who use Skype in their classrooms every day!

NASA has a Digital Learning Network that you can sign up your classes to Skype with an astronaut or a member NASA They have a variety of topics from Food in Space to Robotics to Life on Mars. It's a great way to have your students connect with experts. There is a lesson on Solar Neighborhood.
Have you ever participated in a Mystery Skype? OMGEEE... What are you waiting for?
Mystery Skype has become a world-wide movement. Focusing on Geography, Map and Critical Thinking Skills, your students can connect with other students around the world. Check out my post about Why I love Twitter & Mystery Skype

 Our 4th graders had so much fun during their Mystery Skype. They created an iMovie trailer to highlight their experience.
Mystery skype engages students!!
Connecting Students Around the World

You can find this one, and other great ideas, and resources of experts to Skype with on the Skype classroom website. Also, if you have an idea, you can add a lesson on the website and share with others to participate in. 

However, I am also very impressed with Google Hangout Field Trips. There are a lot of organizations that provide virtual field trips for all grade levels, most recently I came across the Google Doodle virtual field trip where they shared with students how they create the cartoons for the Google homepage, and allowed them to tour the Google headquarters. 
Meet the team of illustrators and engineers who design the Google homepage logos
From Sketches to the Google Homepage: Virtual Field Trip

Recording Now Available at www.DiscoveryEducation.com/Doodle4Google. This site comes with lesson plans and activities for students

How about taking a virtual field trip via Google Hangout?

Twitter is a great way to connect with educators, and experts from around the world.
I know of a 3rd grader who was assigned to complete a research report about Hawaii. Instead of relying just on books in the library, or a Google search, this student's parents took to Twitter and put a request out to find a family who was currently living there, and would be willing to Skype with their son, so they could ask questions about where they lived. This experience was much greater for the student, and their report turned out 100x better!

cross-posted at msedtechie.blogspot.com

Patricia Brown is the Technology Integration Coach at Old Bonhomme Elementary School in Saint Louis, MO, where she implemented the first annual OB Family Tech week and Digital Learning Day. As a classroom teacher, she was awarded a $25,000 Innovative Technology grant for her school. Read her blog at msedtechie.blogspot.com.

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