S&S creates educational tool

NEW YORK: Simon & Schuster (S&S) Children's Publishing has paired with Ball State University to utilize the college's Electronic Field Trips program, bringing the publisher's authors to the Web and US classrooms.

NEW YORK: Simon & Schuster (S&S) Children's Publishing has paired with Ball State University to utilize the college's Electronic Field Trips program, bringing the publisher's authors to the Web and US classrooms.

The program, dubbed Electronic Author Visits, lets students and teachers interact directly with authors and illustrators by live video, discussion forms, and downloads to foster learning.

The book conglomerate unveiled the three-year agreement at the 2008 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia on January 11.

Paul Crichton, director of publicity at S&S, said that the new effort will better reach audiences.

"It's hard to get authors in schools," he noted. "With the electronic visits, we can have kids interacting with top-notch ones."

In addition to the launch, S&S put the announcement on TK Librarian ListServ, which reaches more than 10,000 librarians and educators across the country.

S&S will host three Electronic Author Visits each year. Andrew Clements, the bestselling author of Frindle and No Talking will kick off the program on March 18. D.J. MacHale, The New York Times bestselling author of the Pendragon series, and Margaret Peterson Haddix, writer of the Shadow Children series, will appear later in the year.

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