7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2009 5:59 PM by dgoodman_1958

    Author Connection Opportunity through Skype


      I wanted to share this opportunity with everyone.  I have connected with a NY Times Best Selling Author/Illustrator team living in San Miguel de Allenda, Mexico.  Our students are reading their books and awaiting the virtual visit through Skype to ask questions about what inspired them to write and become authors.  I created a wiki for collaboration on this project.  Our students have been so excited to be able to connect with someone from Mexico and to learn about the Mexican culture.  Please see the email below from Linda and her husband Rick.


      As a NY Times best-selling author of more than fifty books for young readers, I know today's economy makes it very difficult for schools to offer enriching, real-world "extra" programs for their students.
      For this reason, we -- my husband and author/illustrator Richard Keep and I -- are making a concerned effort to fulfill school author visit requests by way of Skype. We're delighted to find that schools are saying "yes" to this creative solution that's easy on the budget and exciting for students. llk_rck_for_email
      From March through May, Rick and I are offering interactive classroom Skype visits from our studio in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico at a very low cost of $50 per forty-five minute class session. Students learn about the creative process, ask about our award-winning books, and see what everyday life is like in colorful central colonial Mexico.


      Our current program features our six Mexican-themed books:  Day of the Dead, Clatter Bash!, La Llorona, The Chocolate Tree, Truth and Salsa, & Cinco de Mayo.
      If your school has an interest, you can reply to this email address, or visit www.lindalowery.com for more information. If you know of someone who would like to receive this note, please forward. We'd love to visit your school via  Skype!
      Thank you and Saludos,
      Linda Lowery & Richard Keep
        • Re: Author Connection Opportunity through Skype

          I'm sorry, I forgot to add the link to the wiki.  http://author-connections.wikispaces.com/  Also, our first skype visit will be Monday, March 30th with 2 of our 4th grade classes and all of our 5th grade classes will be visiting with Linda and Rick on May 5th (Cinco de Mayo).

          • Re: Author Connection Opportunity through Skype

            Deborah- thanks for sharing this great resource!  It is amazing what people are doing with Skype. Who knows maybe this will inspire more authors to provide this type of access to students.  I hope that everything goes well- if you learn any tips from using Skype with your audience please share!

            • Re: Author Connection Opportunity through Skype

              Wow...what a wonderful learning opportunity!


              I'm anxious to hear how the video conference went.


              I've done many video conference programs. Most of them were through the Educational Enterprise Zone (EEZ) at New York Institute of Technology. Most were conducted on dedicated video conference units, but I'm increasingly interested in using inexpensive webcams and tools like Skype in the classroom.


              Last year worked with a kindergarten class that connected via Skype to a Peace Corp volunteer/teacher in Morocco. The kindergarten class and their parents ended up raising money to buy the Peace Corp volunteer transportation (a donkey) and upgrading the school's bathroom with running water. It was an amazing experience.


              I'd enjoy hearing more video conferencing stories, ideas and strategies.


              EEZ Overview http://www.nyiteez.org/


              EEZ Programs http://www.nyiteez.org/EEZBook.pdf


              Peace Corp Site for Educators http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/
              Click on the Connect With a Volunteer Button (center bottom of the screen)



              peace corp.jpg

              • Re: Author Connection Opportunity through Skype

                We had sveral video conferences with Linda and her husband Rick.  The sessions were awesome, although we did have some connection problems in one visit.  The video was great on both ends and the audio was good on their end.  We had to get the students to come to the front to ask questions.  I've got to look into purchasing an external mic that will pick up from anywhere in the classroom, if such a thing exists.  Any suggestions?

                  • Re: Author Connection Opportunity through Skype
                    Bonnie Feather

                    What a great idea!  I am curious, though, as to how one pays the author for such a visit.  Not a bad price, but how did that work?


                    I have an external mic that came with my "podcast factory," which cost around $50 last year with the educator discount.  It plugs in easily and might just do what you need.  I'm sure there are others out there as well.


                    Here's hoping more authors and other folks will make themselves available to our students through Skype!

                      • Re: Author Connection Opportunity through Skype

                        Actually we traded off.  It was their first experiences with Skype, using a wiki and voicethread.  So, I helped them with the technology and they provided us with the virtual visit for free.  Linda ia working with a middle school technology facilitator in Virginia on a grant to provide these experiences to other schools.  I was invited to work on an elementary grant.  I am hoping to submit a proposal to NECC for Linda, Rick and I to have a discussion panel about our experience.