Well, here I am at work again on a snow day making a videoconference happen! All my schools are closed, including our admin building, and one of my local classes in particular is probably disappointed. I know the teacher is. Today was our day for MysteryQuest International, a special version of MysteryQuest where we have only one classroom per country.
We had 5 countries lined up, but due to weather and sickness, we ended up with only 3. Our Canadian school had a snow day too, but the kids came to school anyway and I was very glad we had at least one North American school participate. Those rugged Canadians!!
Our classroom in India lost power in the whole city for the first few minutes of the connection. They must have had UPS backup, because I typed the clues in Yahoo IM to the coordinator so they could get the first presentation.
Students in India gather in a conference room with maps, globes, and notetaking worksheets.
Students in Pakistan carefully listening to a presentation.
Students in Ontario, Canada present a skit with their clues. The class is lined up as a group of people on an airplane making an emergency landing in a mystery country. Notice the stewardess in the middle.
With international MysteryQuest, I also let the classes ask for as many clues repeated as possible. The different accents and fast speaking make it hard for the students to understand each other’s clues.
Also usually I prefer to keep the connection up during the research sections, but because two of the schools had to connect in via ISDN, they disconnected during the research sections.
Then at the end of the session, we always take time for question and answers between the classes. It’s always wonderful to hear the students interact with each other. Here’s a sampling of their conversation:
- What kind of animals do you have in your country? (From Canada to India)
- The Canadian students showed the snow out the window. It was -39C in Canada and 30C in India.
- What time is it there? (8 p.m. in India, 7:30 p.m. in Pakistan, and 9;30 a.m. in Canada).
- Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? yes! They wished each other Happy Valentine’s Day.
- How do you survive the cold? (From India to Canada)
- Do you have snowball fights?
- Do you wear a school uniform? Both classes in India and Pakistan had uniforms.
- What do you do in your spare time?
What a fun connection and a warm way to start my snow day!