I heard Alan November speak tonight and although there were many great ideas, one key idea hit a cord with me.

“Students will work harder for an authentic audience than for a grade”…”Students will do more if they leave a legacy beyond a grade.”

The technology is there! I remember for a couple weeks after my On-line Renassance Fair Davinci Project, students were coming up to me saying they still went home and checked the site to see if anyone posted something new. When Alan told us about his course that ended months ago and students are still blogging, I had to wonder, Why didn’t I keep mine going? The students had a voice… and an audience.

Think of how you would change what you do when your audience changes:

Making dinner for yourself vs making dinner for a new friend.

Thanking someone personally vs thanking them in front of 100 people.

Teaching a class vs teaching peers at a Pro-D.

…Our audience matters, wouldn’t it make sense that this is true for our students too?

And the audience is out there on the web… from experts to parents to peers to billions of internet users.

On a fun side note, think about the boy sitting in his basement lip sync-ing Numa Numa -hundreds of versions are on the net, millions have seen it! More people have seen this than some Multi-Million dollar movie productions. Furthermore his fans have now copied this guy, here is a version: Lego Numa Numa (Over 250,000 views for this copy alone!).

I’ve seen some really bad, poorly made video clips on google video and YouTube that have had over 15,000 people see it… there is an audience out there, and if that helps motivate students, if it gives them a legacy or a global voice as Alan suggests, well, what are we waiting for?

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I added a clustrmap to this blog on Nov. 23/06. What a great tool show kids that they have a global audience!

Cheryl Oakes posted How Many Hits Has Your Refrigerator Had? on TechLEARNING.com- have kids post their work on a “worldwide refrigerator”, rather than the one at home.

Originally posted: October 20th, 2006

Reflection upon re-reading and re-posting:

I’ve said it time and again, “Audience Matters”. One thing that I have been very poor at has been ‘leaving a legacy’. Other than my Science Alive project most of my students’ work has been on private networks. That said, even an audience of the whole class changes things from handing something in just for the teacher. This post picks up on a theme that I keep coming back to… if it works for me as a learner, shouldn’t I offer my students the same opportunities?

On that note, seeing the comment about the clustrmap, I dug up the archive:

My first clustr map archive.

I’d be lying if I said this didn’t change my writing in some way!

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