Authentic audience

Political Officer of the U.S. Embassy provided a presentation for the 2016 U.S. Election Discussion Series at the Information Resource Center (IRC). He answers the students' questions including those on political party conventions, primaries and caucuses.

Creative Commons License U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh via Compfight

From my previous post, you will see reason 7 to blog is:

To give students a global and authentic audience

That is why I began blogging back in 2008 – I wanted my students to see there is a world beyond their small town. We began with a class blog, then each student had their own blog, all open to the world.

But the world was not coming to them; the only comments they got were from each other or from me their teacher and occasionally a parent.

How could I get a global, authentic audience to visit my students’ blogs?

Back in 2008, I didn’t have any contacts to other teachers around the world. The students didn’t have any relatives living in other countries.

Then I remembered Sue Waters, my mentor who had started me on my blogging journey.  I contacted her and she sent out a tweet to her educator friends on Twitter. I had joined Twitter 6 months previously but had not used it because I couldn’t really see any value to it.

Soon I had 3 teachers wanting to link our classes and to leave comments on student blogs. Here was the authentic audience, here was a global audience.

  • Mrs Smith – grade 6/7 in Canada
  • Inez – grade 6 students in Portugal
  • Mr Bogush – grade 7 in USA

But this would never have happened if I didn’t have that one person who had a connected personal learning network.

So how are you the teacher going to develop a network of other educators who can then help comment on your student blogs?

I will be writing another post on developing a PLN (personal learning network).

4 thoughts on “Authentic audience”

  1. For authenticity, I’ve always expected students to comment on their blogs– to carry on a conversation. If I were still teaching, I want them to comment, and write a post linking to the other blog with so they could honor the original post with ideas of their own to further carry forward the conversation. My students participated in in the past. And two years ago, a group of teachers from the #clmooc connected students with monthly blogging topics. It didn’t work as well as we’d hopes [everyone had curriculum mandates], but we decided that if we had stayed in our own content are for connections, it would have worked very well. Here’s my first post about it with a link to the introduction to the project: So yes, teachers need to reach out to find places where people are connecting [quadblog, #clmooc, other chats] to connect classes. And, of course, there is still the Edublogs blogging challenges and #comments4kids.

  2. Sheri,
    Thanks very much for leaving a comment on this post. I think being a connected teacher is very important for that global collaboration which is now included in our digital technologies curriculum as well as other areas of the Australian curriculum.

    Are there any particular chats or groups you would recommend teachers join to make those connections?

    1. Sue, I follow #liveclass20 @liveclass20 #clmooc #geniushour #etmooc #engchat #edchat #blogamonth #teachersfirst @teachersfirst I would suggest cybraryman’s Twitter chat page as a starting point to follow hashtags and people in them that are in the same grade and content area. Have conversations and connect with those teachers. Follow their blogs to see what’s up and how your classrooms could connect. Reach out and suggest a Skype or Hangout. Perhaps do a Mystery Classroom. I find Twitter hashtags and chats the best way to connect. The second best way is Saturday morning [except July] 9 am Pacific US time webinars. Lots of chat there and learning of technology. I’ve met some awesome people there, like @plnaugle So reach out on Twitter, start and follow and comment on blogs. Be a connected educator!

    2. Sue, Here’s the story of @mrsdkrebs and myself — how we connected and even presented at Connected Educators in 2012. Our presentation [prepared together through Twitter, Google Docs, Google Hangouts — we’d never met in person] is here

      Extend the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *