is a list of authors
and artists we represent for online chats,
as well as relevant information for each. Online chats are cheaper
than traditional author visits. Honorariums are lower and there
are no travel or hotel expenses involved. They can also be very
rewarding. The more prepared you are, the more your students will
get out of the experience. For example, it’s important students
be familiar with the author’s or illustrator’s books.
When you contact us to set up the chat, please have some dates
in mind, and please leave time for ordering books for the chat
(at least 6 weeks if you are ordering from a publisher). The author
or artist will be happy to autograph bookplates, so if you want
to send him or her bookplates in advance to sign, you can insert
the bookplates into the books you order. (Please leave time for
both mailing bookplates to the author and the return mail from
the author. You’ll be asked to pay postage for both ends
of the process.) Having autographed books will also enhance the
experience for your students.
Please let us know what kind of computer set-up you have for online
chats. Balkin Buddies authors and artists are set up for iChat
(mostly used with Macs) and Skype (mostly used with PCs). If you
have some other kind of arrangement, let us know and we will check
to see if the author or artist can accommodate you. At this point
in time, we are not certain that iChats are suitable for an illustrator
illustrating his/her technique, so you may want to research this
before asking an illustrator to do this via iChat. If you just
want him or her to chat with your students, that would probably
for equipment, all you need is a computer with speakers, a mic
and a camera. If your computer doesn't come with a camera, you
can get a fairly inexpensive one directly from Skype, although
there are other sources as well. Furthermore, more students will
be able to see the monitor if you can project it onto an ActivBoard.
Another option teachers may wish to consider is using Skype's
conference call feature described in the paragraph below. That
way, you might be able to do a conference online chat on several
school computers so that more students can participate.
are directions for how to get set up on iChat.
And here's some help for Skype.
For university teachers who
teach online classes and would like to have an online chat between
an author and the students in the class who are located in several
areas, you'll find Skype directions at
authors to do a PowerPoint presentation, Premium
Skype is required, so please let us know if you have this
so we can notify the author or illustrator. You can choose to
buy a subscription for 1, 3 or 12 months.
teachers and librarans -- and authors and artists, too -- should
find this article
from the June 2009 issue of School Library Journal very informative
and with a lot of practical advice.
finally, to insure a good chat, please read these tips
from teachers and librarians and tips
from authors who have already done chats and wrote about the
experience. We believe you will find these useful when you start
making arrangements for your own audience, be they students, patrons,
adults, or children.
RECORDING AND VIDEOTAPING RESTRICTIONS:
Unless otherwise indicated, the online chat may NOT be videotaped,
recorded and/or reused. Rights to the content of the program belong
strictly to the author or artist. Should you wish to videotape,
record or reuse a portion of material from an online chat, permission
must be obtained from the author or artist in question in advance,
and we will ask you to sign a limited-use contract. This contract
may vary a bit, depending on your needs as well as the needs of
the author, but it will basically require restricted use only
-- that is, for promotional purposes only or for use only on a
secured website so that students unable to participate in the
chat could view it later, etc. Please discuss your needs with
Balkin Buddies in advance of the chat so that terms may be established
and written into the contract.
RESTRICTIONS CONCERNING OTHER SCHOOLS IN THE DISTRICT OR CITY
PARTICIPATING IN THE CHAT:
Unless specifically requested and agreed to in advance, other
schools, classes, organizations or other groups of children or
adults may NOT participate in the online chat without prior written
consent, in which case a larger honorarium may apply. Again, please
discuss your needs with Balkin Buddies in advance of the chat
so that if other schools wish to participate, the terms may be
revised and written into the contract.
you have any questions concerning online chats, please contact
us by phone or email.