Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hyped about Skype!

I am thrilled to announce that our book club will be Skyping with two wonderful authors in January. After reading about the list of authors who Skype I began my research. I was so excited to see two authors on the list who have a book on the SC Junior Book Award nominee list this year, Julie Berry and Sarah Prineas.

Julie Berry is the author of The Amaranth Enchantment, Secondhand Charm, and Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys series.

Sarah Prineas is the author of The Magic Thief series.
My book club members will be choosing one of their books to read and preparing questions for our Skype session. Our book fair is coming up soon so I requested copies of their books to presell to the book club. They arrived today and I will talk to the book club next week about our plans.
When I contacted the authors I received a response within hours that they would love to plan our meeting. I was surprised at how quickly they responded. Considering these lean budget times I am over the moon because both of these authors will Skype 20 minute sessions for free. Ms. Prineas even mentioned in her email that she would talk longer if we wanted. I am so impressed with their enthusiasm and kindness.
This event will be great for my students and the other teachers are excited about it as well.
The only stumbling block I have encountered is the filter at school. Skype (and many other tools) are blocked by the internet filter. I submitted a request that it be open for these days and my request was denied. The explanation was that we did not have the bandwidth to support Skype. I find it hard to believe that one teacher on Skype for less than half an hour would effect our network. I approached my adminstration for help in overcoming this problem. One of the assistant principals offered her school laptop because it has a WiFi card and Skype installed. I appreciate her helping make this happen.
I will post after our event and let you all know how it went. If anyone out there has any tips, suggestions, or encouragement I would love to hear about it.

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