Thursday, April 14, 2011

Virtual Author Visit via Skype

I just had an author visit with a group of kindergartners and first graders 430 miles away at the Corpus Christi school in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. And I didn't even have to put my shoes on. How cool is that!

One of the moms was kind enough to send along a photo of what things looked like from the other side.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well Skype worked for an author visit. The classroom was equipped with a smart board which they used to display the Skype call. On my end, I had a monitor set up at the far end of my desk so the kids were able to see me and also where I work. Skype even allowed me to share my screen with the kids so they can watch me draw on the Cintiq. I also used the screen sharing feature when I was reading my books. I had previously scanned in the book pages and set them up a power point presentation. That way the kids can see the illustrations nice and big and my mug didn't get in the way.

The main drawback that I could see was the delay. If I said something funny (or at least something I thought was funny) I didn't hear any laughter until halfway through the next sentence. It makes it a little hard to tell if you are knockin' them dead or dying a slow death. But luckily I did eventually hear laughs at all the right places.

If any other schools are interested in trying this, please email me. I'd be happy to discuss.


Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifer Morris,
I like your books. I wish I had one of those computer thingys you showed us. Thanks for reading to us. I appreciated it! I want to be an artist when I grow up.

Grace (age 6) Corpus Christi School

(thanks again. Grace's mom)

Mrs. Super said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your talents! My Kindergarten class is still talking about it! You impressed them!
Thank you!
Mrs. Super
Corpus Christi School
Chambersburg, PA

Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifer Morris
Thank you for talking to our class last week. I appreciated it. I really want one of those computer things you were drawing on! I want to be an artist when I grow up.
Grace (age 6) Corpus Christi School

(thanks again - Polly)