A few years ago, it would’ve been nearly impossible for students across the nation to hear their favorite author speak live–and yet, thanks to the the digital age, classes now interact with authors and field experts with ease. Yesterday, fifth graders at Fall Creek Intermediate School participated in a live webcast with Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson novels. The site for the webcast– the top of the Empire State Building!
Existing fans of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief sat in awe as Riordan led viewers around the Empire’s top landing (a key location for Percy Jackson!), answered Greek mythology questions, and read from his upcoming release. Following the webcast, some students expressed an interest in reading Riordan’s work for the first time.
By fostering interaction and conversation around texts, virtual author visits are one way in which 21st century technology tools can enhance good reading instruction and deepen comprehension.
-Susan Drumm, Instructional Technology Coach