This school year rather than having my students FaceTime other classes or professionals to gather information, we've been using FaceTime to solve problems.
I started by identifying real problems and decisions that people I know are currently facing. The key was to choose problems with multiple viable and desirable solutions and problems that could be understood by 2nd graders.
Next, students FaceTimed with the person who had the problem. This was an information gathering phase in which the person shared details and the students asked clarifying questions.
Students created groups of 2-4 to work out a solution. They created a presentation, poster, or mock-up of their solution with evidence to support their reasoning.
At a follow-up FaceTime conference each group presented their advice.
So far we've offered advice about
--creating a video game character that would appeal to elementary age students
--how to organize supplies in a college dorm desk
--options for exercise on a rainy day
--options for replacing an afternoon nanny who was moving
--staying in a current job or accepting a new job offer
--which vacation house to rent for a family reunion
These activities have presented authentic topics for my students to discuss and they've had to listen carefully and work on their empathy skills to clearly understand the problem and the pros/cons.