Confirmation Letter

Subject: [event name] Confirmation:

Greetings ##PARTICIPANTNAME##,

This confirmation is for the following session:
##EVENTTITLE##
##EVENTTIME##
##EVENTLOCALTIME##

Please read below for technical and teacher information.
Technical Contacts (#EQUIPMENTCONTACT##):
According to our records, you will be participating with this equipment:

##EQUIPMENTNAME## with IP ##EQUIPMENTIP##
If this is incorrect, please let me know.

Test Call
The test call window for MysteryQuest USA is: [DATE & TIME]
Your dial in number for the event and test call is: 198.109.240.180##4372. (If you have Tandberg equipment, you can either dial just the IP address and I'll connect you to the conference; or I can dial out to you. We can negotiate this during the test call.)
If you have problems during the connection or test call, please call me at (269) 471-7725x1101.

Assist Your Teacher
If possible, please help your teacher understand the distance learning room setup and the options available for presentation (document camera, computer hook up, mic locations, etc.). Find out if they need/want computer access during the research portion of the event. Note that it is highly unlikely that People Plus Content / H.239 / DuoVideo will work for this conference.

Connection Day
The connection will be open for you to dial in 30 minutes before the start of the program. Please dial in as soon as possible. We aim to have
every site connected by 10 minutes before the start of the program.

Teacher Information (##PARTICIPANTNAME##):
CRITICAL: If you haven't already done so, please email me with the state your class will present. First come, first serve, so if you want to present your own state, tell me ASAP!

One way to do this is to have students vote for top choices and submit the top three to me without telling the students the top votes. Then after checking with me, give them the selected state.

Detailed information about this project can be found at:
http://mysteryquestusa.wikispaces.com/
Note especially the Required Clues your students should answer in their presentation as well as the How To guides for preparing visuals and the Examples page.

Video Taped Presentations
Please do NOT prepare a taped presentation. Taped presentations are very difficult to understand when sent over compressed video. Please present LIVE!

Video Releases
The event may be recorded by Berrien RESA for improvement of the project, as well as illustrations to post on the web for next year's project. In addition, many schools tape the program they participate in. Because of this, please make sure the students who appear on camera have permission from their parents/guardian. (Some schools have a video/photograph release form built into their registration process. Here's a Word file sample you can use.
http://mysteryquestusa.wikispaces.com/file/view/releaseform.doc
Please leave the credit at the bottom of the form.)

If you have any questions, you may call me at (269) 471-7725x1101 or email me. Thank you.

Janine
Instructional Technology Consultant
Berrien RESA
(269) 471-7725x1101
janine.lim@berrienresa.org

MysteryQuest Presentation and Test Call Reminders


MysteryQuest USA Teachers and Contacts:
A few reminders and items I want to emphasize as you're preparing your presentations!

Test Calls
The test call windows are this week: [date & times here]
The IP is 198.109.240.180##4372. If you can’t do the extension, try just the IP.
I’ll be taking only 3 sites at a time for testing, so if you get a busy signal, try again in a few minutes.
IMPORTANT: If you plan to present with the computer, please be ready to test the computer connection.
If you have trouble during the test or the program, call 269-471-7725x1101.

States
If you haven't yet sent me the state you are presenting, please do so as soon as possible. And yes, the city should be in the state! One way to choose is to have students vote for top choices & submit the top three to me without telling the students the top votes. Then after checking with me, give them the selected state. We do this to make sure there are no duplicate presentations.

Selecting Your City
1. The city should NOT be the capital city, as one of the required clues is to indicate the direction from the capital of the state to the mystery city. If you think of the state when you name the city, your city is too easy.

2. Please make sure your city and clues are challenging. Most classes now have access to Google during the research portion which makes it too easy to find the answers. Make sure that you can’t just type a clue in Google and get the answer. Plan clues that will make the other classes use maps and some sleuthing to figure out the city. Some classes get really creative in writing clues that have to be solved before you can find the answer.
More clue examples are on the Examples page:
http://mysteryquestusa.wikispaces.com/Examples

Clearly Present Clues
Remember that the goal of your presentation is to clearly communicate the clues to the other classes, not to confuse them so they can't guess. Here are some ways we highly recommend:

*Avoid taped presentations, as the quality of the tape gets degraded when sent over videoconferencing. Plus students will be better prepared to answer questions if their presentation is fresh in their mind.

*Prepare visuals to reinforce proper names and figures that are important to locating your city & state. Visuals for clues can be a "life saver" if we have technical difficulties or audio problems. Use this worksheet to assist your students in making clear posters or PPT slides:
http://mysteryquest.wikispaces.com/file/view/PosterHandout.pdf

*If you are presenting the clues out of order, be sure to identify the sections the clues are coming from so that note takers can easily write down the information in the right place. Keep the country & city clues together as those are two different side of the note taking sheet.

*Have students practice speaking slowly, loudly, and clearly! Practice those communication skills!

*Have students read clues off notecards instead of paper so that we don't have the noise of paper rustling.

Double Check your Clues
Check to make sure you are presenting all the required clues and the correct number from each section:
http://mysteryquestusa.wikispaces.com/Required+Clues


Double check your visuals and make sure what the other class should write down is the LARGEST.

Revealing the Answer

If possible, prepare a visual for revealing the city & state you presented as well as your actual location if you aren't presenting your own town. This will make it easier to understand unfamiliar names of cities and students
will know easily whether or not they were correct.


Video
We don’t have a video yet of MysteryQuest USA (will make it this year with your work!).
But you may want to watch the MysteryQuest World video and even show it to your
students so they know how the program will go.
http://expo.remc11.k12.mi.us/movies/QuickTime/projects/MQ.mov


Relax!
I know it can be crazy getting prepared and ready for this event, but relax! Enjoy the process. It should be fun for everyone involved and a great learning experience too!

As always, you can email me or call (269) 471-7725x1101 if you have any questions or want to discuss your presentation or the event.


Janine

MysteryQuest Countdown (sent Friday before event)


Subject: MysteryQuest USA [date & time]
Greetings MysteryQuest USA Teachers & Contacts!

Just a few more days til our MysteryQuest USA event! In anticipation of that, here are a few notes for:
[date]: [start & end time in all represented time zones]

Number of Groups
We have [xxx] classes participating, so you should divide your
students into [xxx] groups for researching the other presentations.

Connections
Please connect at least 15 minutes early so we can start on time.
IP: 198.109.240.180##4372 or dial the IP; or I'm calling you if arranged.
If you have trouble, call me at 269-471-7725x1101.

Order of Presentations
Classes are assigned a number by when they sign up. The assigned
order is:
Classroom 1 Teacher:
Classroom 2 Teacher:
Classroom 3 Teacher:
Classroom 4 Teacher:
Classroom 5 Teacher:
Classroom 6 Teacher:

Things to Bring
*All materials needed for your presentation.
*Research notes from the presentation in case another school has specific questions about your state or city.
*Any print materials for students to use in their research (books, maps, globes, etc.).
*If desired, arrange for the use of computers/Internet connection during the 30 min. research portion of the event.
*Copies of the note taking form (or blank sheets if you prefer)
http://mysteryquestusa.wikispaces.com/file/view/MQUSANotesForm.doc

Note Taking
Make enough copies of the note taking form so that all kids take notes on all presentations. This will help keep them involved, give them practice taking notes, and groups could help each other during in the research process if needed.

Computers
If you are using computers for this event, please do the following:
1. Do not allow students to use them during the note-taking. They should be practicing taking notes and being a good listening audience. Remember it's possible you are the school the presenting school is looking at when they present. So be an attentive audience!

2. During the research portion, only use computers as a last resort. This event is about map skills, group skills, research skills. Some clues could give the answer quickly in Google and we'd rather have students really work to use maps etc. to discover the answer.

I'm excited about this wonderful learning opportunity for our students and look forward to a great event!

Janine


Post Project / Evaluation Reminder


Greetings,

Thank you for participating in the MysteryQuest USA videoconference.

Please take a moment to fill out this evaluation form so we can continue to improve the program:
http://mysteryquestusa.wikispaces.com/VC+Evaluation

Thank you! Hope you can participate again next year!


Janine Lim
janine.lim@berrienresa.org