Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Skype Island

I love the idea of Skypeing with an author! I am especially interested in this since I know our budgets will be cut heavily this year. I appreciate all the lists of authors who are willing to visit with schools using Skype. I have not researched the authors in depth to decide which one I might like to use, but I plan to do that more this summer.
I have been burned before with virtual discussions. The worst time was when Scholastic offered a special virtual visit with Mrs. Frizzle. I created a login and then prepared all of our technology so that I could broadcast the virtual presentation. I thought this might be best so that we were not all trying to log in at the same time and bogging down the internet on our campus. Then at the specific time, I had all the teachers stop and tune in to our broadcast. Well, big surprise, it NEVER would work. I also never figured out why. This was very frustrating to all of us and very embarrassing for me!
For this reason I think that my first few experiences with Skype need to be in a controlled small group environment. I am just very nervous about involving a large group until I decide whether or not this will work for me. So, I think I would like to choose an author and book then host a book club to read this particular book. Once we have finished the book and discussed it among our book club, I would like to invite the author to Skype with the group about his/her book. I just think that I would be much more comfortable in this small environment.
As far as what it would take, I think I have almost all that I need. I would just need my laptop projected onto a screen, Skype loaded on the laptop, a microphone, and a webcam (which I don't have but could easily get).
If this book club session goes well I would also like to share this with our faculty. Probably the best way to share with my teachers would be to invite them to one of the sessions and/or have the kids involved talk to them about the experience.

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