Thursday, May 5, 2016

Skype School Visit

Yesterday, I Skyped a school in New Hampshire and did a STEAM presentation in front of two classes of fifth graders. Test runs made me leery about the "share screen" button that at times was grayed out and inaccessible. So, I downloaded the most recent version of Skype the day before the visit and everything went smoothly.

I got started with this great advice...

Deliver a successful PowerPoint presentation via Skype by Donna Galanti

This was helpful...  how to look good on a webcam.  

I used my travel alarm to keep track of time.
Other fine points:
  • Have your Skype password handy in case you accidentally exit from Skype.
  • Put the webcam in the center of your computer screen so you aren't looking off to the side.
  • A barrette on top of my head made the headphones feel like they kept slipping. 
  • Position the computer so the background is uncluttered.
  • I used inquiry-based learning in the middle of the presentation when PowerPoint was on the screen. Mention this to the teacher ahead of time and have her call on kids. It worked great!
  • After thirty minutes, I stopped sharing my PowerPoint presentation. I wanted the kids in my large screen for Q&A.Then I started sharing again for the final five minutes of inspirational material. 

My latest clips are in the April issue of MUSE and the May issue of Highlights.
Tuesday I received a call that I had won the Tassy Walden Award! It was a joyous moment. In this challenging field you try and try and try some more and often you feel like you're parked at a stop sign while everyone else is zooming ahead. I'm looking forward to reading my manuscript and meeting the other winners in June. It all seems so surreal.