First MysteryQuest of This School Year!

Today we’re starting a series of 8 days of MysteryQuest: World Geography. Today’s session features Africa. We have 5 classes connecting from Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and New York.

We had three presentations that featured mainly posters, a news show featuring a kidnapping, and a PowerPoint presentation.

Good VC etiquette that I noticed today:

  • Having a sign in the school and/or a document camera sign that identifies the school.
  • Muting in between sections of a presentation as the students moved around in the room.

Some things that were a challenge:

  • Posters continue to be a difficult visual to master. Traditional classroom posters are very difficult to read over a videoconference. One suggestion I give teachers is to hold up the poster across the room and see if you can still read it. I wonder if that works though. Maybe we need even more specific directions on this. On the other hand, I don’t want to stress teachers who are new to MysteryQuest sessions as it’s pretty involved.
  • We always have some audio issues in MysteryQuest sessions from somewhere. We had some crackling quality issues and also some noise near mics that made it hard to hear clues. I think the students handled it pretty well today. Having a clear PowerPoint for schools with audio issues really helped get the clues written down.

I’m amazed again at the fast switch to IP connections. Last year we had one or two IP connections for each session; and this year only one or two ISDN connections for each session. ISDN seems to be on a fast demise.

Today’s session went well. One down; seven to go. If you’re a regional distance learning coordinator with a bridge and lots of districts you service, you should be running this program for your students. Here’s a page on running your own MysteryQuest. I turned so many people away this year! Feel free to copy and adapt. There’s no way I can run enough events for the demand out there and I have no troubles filling the sessions I run for my own schools. If you make a website, let me know so I can send people your way who didn’t get into mine. (Now that’s collaboboration in the VC community right?!)

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