Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Five ideas to connect your students to an authentic audience.

When I first happened onto this graphic I was struck with how true it rang. In my experience as an educator, I knew this to be the case and understood it well, but never was able to express this ideas so poignantly as Hurley did here. I believe he simultaneously captured the nature of one challenge that teachers have today, and precisely how to address this challenge and overcome it!

I have been reading a book by Daniel H. Pink called, "Drive". It speaks to the motivations that drive us and those that little to know effect- sometimes even the opposite effect we would like. Having seen Hurley's quote, and read Daniel Pink's book, I knew that they key to engagement and quality work from students lie in providing them the opportunity to choose to engage in something meaningful that they are interested in and making it so that what the produce will be received by a person or people that will appreciate the work. This essentially means: if the teachers is the only one that sees the work, then the student will make it just good enough. However, if the student knows that there will be more people who see this work, especially someone who is an authority or to whom this work will be valued, then there is a much greater chance that the student will produce the best quality work.

When there is feedback from an author, or a engineer, or an expert in the field that relates to the work that the student is doing, then there is value.

Here are few ideas that you can use to connect your students to an authentic audience:

1) Google Hangout (On Air) with an expert in the field. Often, it is difficulty to bring the expert physically to your classroom, but if they can be present digitally and then the conversation is recorded then it is just as good.

2) Set up a classroom Blog using Seesaw. Mare sure that parents have the app so they can follow what their student and class is doing.

3) Register a classroom Twitter account and follow an expert. See if you can connect with them and then exchange direct messages. Allow your students to pose questions or comments.

4) iBooks is a great source of collaboration among students. You could contact other teachers worldwide via Google+ communities and co-author a iBook about similarities and differences in culture, math strategies, environment.

5) A great non digital idea would be to connect with the community. Some of the activities that my schools coordinate are themes evenings where parents and community members are invited to participate. Students can create or write so that the audience is the entire community that attend that night.

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