One of the highlights from my week was participating in a “mystery hangout”. This particular (Google) hangout had an interesting twist with teachers and students learning together and collaboratively.
The Plan: Heather Theijsmeijer leveraged her PLN twitter connections with Donna Fry and me to develop a plan to give the G Suite (Google Apps) lead teachers in Rainbow DSB a hands on experience with Google Hangouts to demonstrate the learning, collaboration and problem solving that can occur in this setting. After a call for participants, we firmed up the the Rainbow DSB GAFE lead teachers as one team, and Tania Bumstead’s Vista Hills P. S. class as the other team. Alison Bullock and I played an online support role in the process as fact checkers and communication with each team lead.
Team Vista Hills
Team Rainbow (screen capture)
The task was for each team to determine the location of the other team through a series of yes/no questions.
The experience: When it came time for he actual event, Heather connected everyone into the Google Hangout, and we were ready for a 45 minute learning situation, beginning with some introductions. The Vista Hills class worked in groups to tackle the tasks – receiving answers from team Rainbow, interpreting them and tracking them on Google maps. Another team generated potential questions and determined which question should be asked next. A third team interacted with team Rainbow and posed the questions. The excitement in the room was high, and there was a steady buzz throughout the session.
I was fascinated with the ingenious yes/no questions asked by the two teams as they working through the process of solving the geography puzzle in front of them. Are you located
- in Canada
- east of the Manitoba/Ontario border
- in the eastern standard time zone
- within 100 km of Algonquin Park
- west of the GTA
- located north of the 402/403 highway corridor
- east of the escarpment
- in a city with a population over 100,000
- within 50 km of Lake Huron
and finally, team Rainbow asked: are you located in KW? Team Vista Hills pressed on and with a couple more questions and one hint, determined team Rainbow was on Manitoulin Island.
It was evident to me that a great learning experience had been enjoyed by all, and that more mystery hangouts will occur in the future. Thanks to all the learners who participated in this event!