25 Feb 2014

Changing the Audience



Today in class, I heard a student turn to another and exclaim, “Wait a minute...This is going to be on YouTube?!” He then grabbed a piece of paper, pencil, and textbook and moved to a secluded part of the classroom to begin his research. He scoured the text looking for examples, quotes, and any little fact that might help him perform in the short documentary my students are making about the U.S.-Dakota War. He asked for my assistance on two different occasions, asking insightful questions about how the wealthy traders treated the Dakota. Prior to his determined efforts, he was goofing off, not writing or reading, and was showing very little interest in helping his group. With a simple shift in audience, you can inspire a student to work hard!

With a camera, smartphone, or tablet, your classroom quickly becomes a lot larger than the four walls your students are sitting in. The audience can grow from a teacher, to a classroom, to a school, to honestly anyone with an Internet connection. When a young adult learns that the audience for his school work extends beyond that of a piece of paper handed to a teacher, it is amazing how motivated a student can become.

This method of motivation has been employed for many years. Student work is posted in classrooms, hallways, and even entered in contests. But when a student project is displayed on the Web for Grandma to see in another state or for Mom and Dad to share with their work friends, the additional pressure of a wider audience can be just the right push to get the best effort from your students. Students are also eager to share their hard work to friends via social media sites.

A common concern that teachers have is whether they need parent permission to display a student online on social media, websites, or blogs. The simple answer to that question is that parents of Shakopee students who do not want their students photographed or recorded are to inform their school prior to October 1st of each school year. It also doesn’t hurt to email parents and tell them about a project you’ll be displaying online. You can also protect privacy of students by sharing links privately using Google Drive or uploading videos to YouTube as “private” or “unlisted” and then emailing the link to students and parents. It also eases parent’s minds if you leave off student names and restrict the ability to post comments publicly.

Take the plunge and let your students know their next role play activity or project will be displayed for all the world to see! Watch as their eyes light up and their effort exceeds your wildest expectations!


Favorite tools for sharing student work:

-Record video with iPad or phone, upload to YouTube

-Create a website

-Share via email, Twitter, or Google+




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