I’m delighted to offer free 15-20 minute Skype visits for schools. Virtual visits are a great opportunity for students to hear me read from my book, and to ask questions about my book, writing, and my life as an author and chocolatier.
Glimpse was inspired by Alfred Noyes’ poem ‘The Highwayman’, and is suitable for Key Stage 3 and upwards. Teachers will want to read Glimpse first to assess suitability for their students.
Since 2008, I hold Qualified Teacher Status, with a PGCE from the University of Cambridge in Key Stages 2 and 3 English.
What you need for a Skype Virtual Visit
- HARDWARE: A computer (Mac or Windows) with a broadband connection, a web-cam and a microphone.
- SOFTWARE: You’ll need to install Skype on your computer and set up an account. You can download Skype for free here.
- VISION: Ideally the computer should be connected to a large TV screen or white board projector, but as long as there is a screen of some sort that the students can see me on, this is not essential. If you’re using a projector in a brightly lit room, it’s a good idea to turn off the lights or close the blinds near the screen or whiteboard so the children can see the screen more clearly. The web-cam should be next to the screen if possible, so I can see the students’ faces looking towards me.
- SOUND: Sound is important! The students will need to be able to hear me clearly. Your computer’s in-built speakers may not be loud enough for my voice to carry to the back of the room, so you might need to use some louder, plug-in speakers or the TV’s speakers if you’re using a TV screen.
PLEASE NOTE: I won’t be able to offer technical assistance, so if you’re new to Skype make sure you have Skype installed and you’ve familiarised yourself with how to use it by making some video calls BEFORE you book a virtual visit. If you’re intending to use external sound and video and have not done this before, it’s a good idea to test these in advance too.
- Some questions prepared in advance.
- A room full of enthusiastic students. Students will enjoy a virtual visit much more if they are already familiar with my book and are anticipating the visit. Arrange for the library service to provide you with copies of Glimpse before the visit – or you might even buy a few. Feature the visit as an upcoming event in school newsletters and feel free to include my web site address.
PLEASE NOTE: Skype sessions should not be recorded without my prior permission.
If you have any questions or would like to book a visit, contact me here. For information about real-life school visits, click here.
Many thanks to Jonathan Emmett for setting up Virtual Authors.