Meet the Author: It's easier than ever!
Why do a live videoconference (Skype)?
There are many benefits to a live videoconference with an author. You and your students can interact with the author in a more intimate way than in a multi-purpose room or library filled with several hundred students for a presentation. Student writers will see the author in their own environment, perhaps in the author’s own home or writing studio, and realize that authors are ordinary people. They may begin to see writing as a career option for themselves. Authors will often share the backstory behind one of their books, which makes reading and discussing it all the more interesting to students. By talking about their other works, authors promote additional reading, and children are motivated to read more. With the author’s permission, It is even possible to record your Skype session call with a tool like Vodburner so you and your students can access it later. Students can refer back to it as they go about their follow-up activities.
There are benefits for the authors, as well. They are able to do more virtual visits (and connect with a greater number of readers) in the course of a school year because they needn’t worry about the organizational details and travel arrangements. It is a way to acquaint students with more of their books and give sneak previews of upcoming works. They also have a chance to hear students’ interests, possibly inspiring future works. Video author visits are a win-win situation for all!
Preparing Your Students • Alternatives to Skype