Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Virtual Classroom tour

When I first contacted John Hughes via his blog and asked him to host me on his blog during my blog tour for State of Wilderness, never did I think at the time I would be doing a 2-month long classroom tour to be a pre-blog tour test. So yesterday, Monday, I had my first visit with Mr. Hughes' 6th grade class in Utah. It was very surreal. I hooked up my microphone and John and I had done a testing the night before just to make sure everything was good on my end. So I did my thing all day and then at about 3 pm, I got an email asking if I was about ready. His class was in computer lab and so he couldn't access Google talk but could send an email. I waited for them to get back to class and for him to "call" me via Google Talk. Now for the surreal part - I was talking to the class and they could hear me and Mr. Hughes was typing questions and other things in the chat box. I had no way of gaging the response on the other end because I couldn't hear them.

Last night Mr. Hughes found a microphone at home and we were up late chatting and discussing things for the tour and his writing workshop and all. So he took his microphone to school today and we tested it out after school - Everything works. So tomorrow when I am visiting the class, I will be able to hear them and vice versa. It will make the experience so much better.

We are going to do some writing challenges for the kids to tie in with his writing workshop curriculum that he teaches. I am looking forward to being a part of this classroom visit and working with the kids on developing their writing skills.

Honestly, my publisher wanted me to do school visits, and I was preparing myself to do them starting in the spring of 2010 but I think if this works out I may try to do more virtual class visits - lol (of course there is nothing like going into a classroom and really seeing the kids faces), but who knows - authors may now have another venue to explore to get into classrooms now. The downside is that if you are paid for school visits, that you could never be compensated for this. If I develop my platform and start doing real school visits, I would expect at least compensation of some sort for travel and maybe a bit of my time. We have had this discussion before on one of the forums I am a member of and it seems the longer you do school visits, the more you can make. I know schools aren't rich but they should pay their guest speakers accordingly.

On to finish work and to bed - will keep you updated on the virtual tour. See you all in the postings - E :)

1 comment:

Holly Jahangiri said...

Oh, don't assume "you could never get paid for this..."

By having the technology set-up, the expertise, the willingness to do it this way, you save the school money and demonstrate some exciting new uses of technology, while still providing "author visits" with the kids. Hook up a Web cam, and you're golden. In some ways, it's not as personal; in some ways, it is moreso.

You might not charge as MUCH - you don't need travel expenses - but you might spend more time interacting with students - don't write off the value of that!

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