I have heard about Skype before, in fact, I have used it to video chat with my family in Mexico. However, it never crossed my mind that it was also used in the classrooms for authors to skype/chat with students. It is very clear that the new virtual world we are living in has a lot of potential to offer, such as skypping with various authors without having to leave the classroom and with them not having to travel to different states or across the country!
As a future teacher, this is something I will definitely keep in mind to use in my classroom. I am planning on teaching third grade and under. So with so much technology involved, I would have to make sure the students are properly trained on how to use the equipment properly and how to be respectful at all times while skypping with the author. In the article, The Skyping Renaissance, http://www.slj.com/2014/11/technology/the-skyping-renaissance/ Messner and author Marty Kelly, mentioned that ‘“A fifth grade class spent the entire 40-minute visit making faces at themselves on their monitor.” This is precisely why it is very important for teachers to acquaint the students with Skype before they visit with an author. I believe it would be very disappointing/embarrassing for both the teacher and author if everything turned into a disaster instead of a learning lesson.
As I read through this article and the connection between authors and students, it reminded me of the book, Dear. Mr. Heshaw by Beverly Clearly I read about a month… In this story, we meet Leigh Botts, who is in fourth grade now. The first time Leigh wrote to Mr. Henshaw, an author of children’s book, he was in second grade. All these time until now he has kept in touch with Mr. Henshaw and through his writing, he tells him all about his life and things going on. Through his writing, Leigh asked for advice from Mr. Henshaw as to how he can become a better writer? However, I believe Leigh has not figure out that he is a great writer as he tells us and Mr. Henshaw all bout his life.
I can see a great advantage through the use of Skype in the classrooms for authors visits. As previously mentioned, it would be a great tool to use in my classroom. I believe that through this method, the children would be more engaged in their reading and eager to meet and talk to various authors! If I had the opportunity to meet an author, I would love to meet Judy Schachner, author of the Skippyjon Jones books. Her books are great, incorporate Spanish words, and most important of all, they include humor!