This article opened my eyes to the possibilities of using technology in the classroom as an interactive tool. The teachers and administrators at a school in Philadelphia were able to connect students through an internet chat to the author of a book they had read in class. After working out the kinks, ensuring the technology would work, and preparing questions for the author ahead of time, the students were able to get their questions answered in "real time." The internet provided a virtual conversation in which the whole class could take part.
Q1: If I were to arrange this type of "virtual conversation" in my own classroom, how would I ensure that all my students are able to participate?
A1: I suppose having each and every student offer their own question would give them all a chance to feel involved and important. That way, every student has an original question for the author that no one else shares.
Q2: How would I deal with a shortage of computers for this type of interaction?
A2: Hopefully, if every student has their own question, the author would be answering that particular student's inquiry. Therefore, the students would really feel like a part of this conversation, whether or not each student typed their question. If more computers were available, perhaps the students could take turns typing their questions. Whatever the situation, I would make an effort for every student to feel involved as an integral part of the virtual conversation.