Saturday, October 18, 2014

Authentic Audience

On Monday, I will be presenting to a small group of teachers about Authentic Audience and Genuine Connections. The process of preparing my presentation got me thinking about my sporadic blogging.

I have written posts on and off for my blog, but very seldom get comments on it. This is not a great mystery as I have not done as much as I could to publicize my blog. I sometimes tweet or post to google+ about a new post, but not in a consistent, energetic way. As such, I am not overly disappointed by the last of traffic.

So here is the question: does this lack of traffic mean that I do not have an authentic audience? I don't think that's true.  If I wrote in a paper journal that I kept tucked in my desk drawer, or even a digital journal kept safe on my hard drive, then I would not have an audience. I don't think that the important thing is the size of the audience, it is the potential for audience.

The fact that my posts are public and I have put them out there means that someone could read them and maybe even comment on them. I might contribute to someone else's thinking. Then again, I might not. As I write, I do not know which it will be. I will take the same care to ensure that I have written clearly and communicated my thoughts in a logical way for a potential audience as for an actual one because there is always possibility. My thinking and my writing must be better because it is more public than just for myself.

This translates very well to my classroom blogging. Students know that there is the possibility that classmates, or even people beyond the class could read what they have written. They step up their game because the potential for comments is there. Even if those comments only materialize occasionally, the potential is there. The authenticity of what they are doing, putting their work out there, is a great motivator for many of them.

This also applies to my presentation on Monday. The conference has lower attendance than expected and several sessions are being cancelled for low registration. Even though only a few people have signed up for my session, I intend to give it anyways. Those teachers are an authentic audience, if a small one. They are interested in what I have to say. I intend to put together a session that is every bit as good and perhaps better than I would have for a full house. They are my audience and I do not need large numbers for them to be a real audience. They deserve the best I can offer.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Show Your Talent

I am proud of my class today.

I just got home from the gala for the "Show Your Talent" contest for the Eastern Townships School Board. Several of my students performed live with the school Glee club. Overall, our school was very well represented.

My class submitted an anti-bullying video for the video-technology part of the competition. They cut two songs together and planned actions for the who thing. They taught the necessary actions to students in the other classes. We filmed it all on Pink Shirt Day on February 26th and edited it that afternoon. Here is the link to Be Brave, Be Stronger.

Our video certainly seemed polished compared to the others we saw. I am proud of my students for working together and pulling this off.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I have just returned home from the annual LCEEQ conference in Laval. I was excited to have a chance to meet Alec Couros and Will Richardson in person. I have followed them on Twitter for years and it was nice to have a real-time conversation with each of them.

This year's theme revolved around social media. It really is mind-blowing that our students can literally Google anything they want to learn, from playing a musical instrument to solving a video game, and find a tutorial. I think a lot of teachers left the conference with a renewed commitment to teaching differently for the kids we have in front of us today.

Because of the theme, I decided to take a plunge. Normally, I would try to Tweet out a few interesting points, but would take the bulk of my notes in Evernote or Google Drive. The fact is, though, that I rarely, if  ever, return to those notes to read them.

So in the spirit of social media, I Tweeted. That's it. No doodles, not jot notes, no detailed notes, just Tweets. I can look back and see the pieces I found most worthy of sharing and I participated more fully because I wasn't trying to get all the notes down.

Tweeting made me a better listener and participant. Wonder if that has classroom applications?
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