Virtual Visits with Authors & Illustrators in the School Library

Digital participatory culture provides us with opportunities to collaborate and communicate across the globe. For the past four years, I have been Skyping authors in my school library with 4th grade students. I am amazed at the willingness of authors to share their time and talent with my students.

This year, I asked both the author and illustrator of Giants Beware to virtually visit with my students. The author, Jorge Aguirre, and the illustrator, Rafael Rosado, were willing to share the process of collaborating on their graphic novel which has been nominated for the Texas Bluebonnet Award (a state award for books chosen by students).

Students asked interesting questions while Rosado created a live graphic picture on his iPad , signed and dated it, then emailed it to me immediately after the session. We decided to use Google Hangouts this year because we wanted all three of us to share live video (which is free and easy on Google Hangouts). My school library is in Texas, Aguirre lives in New Jersey, and Rosado lives in Ohio.  A LIVE virtual visit across the U.S. was exciting for the students and a great example of global participatory digital culture.