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Frequently Asked Questions


How much does this project cost?

This project is free. Well, technically it is free, you will have to put in some time preparing with your students and practicing for your presentations.


How do I know if I have the correct equipment to do this project?

This project requires a videoconference unit that can dial or recieve H.323 calls. This is NOT a webcam using Skype. It is most likely a Polycom or Tandberg product.


Can I use my webcam and Skype for this connection?

Not at this time. Yes, we know that Skype and a webcam is cheap and you can connect anywhere very easily. For this project, we use a videoconference bridge to connect the classes and want to be able to see and hear your students clearly.


Can I make a Powerpoint my presentation?

While we applaud your use of powerpoint or creating a movie, it can present a challenge showing it through the videoconference system. We will be connecting schools from all over the state and some videoconference systems can't show what is on your computer and others can't see it. (I could get a LOT more technical, but it would just bore you!)


Can my class make a movie and play it for our presentation?

This is the same issue as with the powerpoint. It might work and it might not. This project is more about the students being able to communicate their clues to other classes. We have seen some really wonderful movies, but it was too difficult for the other classes to catch the clues. If your class would like to make a movie about this project, share the link with us to publicize it.


I have never done a project like this and I am nervous. Who can help me?

We can help you. First thing you can do is read through all of the Project Information and look at the Photo Gallery. Then Google "Texas History Mystery" and you will find some ideas to get started thinking.


When are test calls?

All Texas History Mystery connections will be through your local Education Service Center. You will need to make a reservation with your ESC and provide the TETN number for your connection (as well as any other information required by your ESC).  Please also contact your ESC if you need do a test call before the event.


What if I can't meet on the date and time that I am scheduled?

We know that things come up--fire drills, tornadoes, illness, etc. Let us know ASAP so that we can make sure we have enough classes in each section. Also, we know that people get really excited about these types of projects and register early to get the time/date they want and we LOVE that. Make sure you write down your time and date as soon as you are confirmed and make sure that everyone on your campus knows. Be sure the administration and your grade level team knows so that they don't schedule a field trip on a day when your class already has made a commitment to Texas History Mystery.


What if I co-teach with another teacher?  Can I request two connections?

Yes, but you will need to complete the registration for each class.  You may also indicate any special situations in the comment section on the registration form.


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