Learning with Technology for Teaching Online (iTeach)

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Leeward Community College
Updated: 1 hour 55 min ago

Unapproved Minutes October 16, 2017

Wed, 2017-10-18 17:17
Meeting called to order at 3:10 PM. Attendees: Warren Kawano, Amy Amper, Dalybeth Reasoner, Daniela Dutra Elliott, Karim Khan, Michelle Igarashi, Rachael Inake, Brent Hirata, Christy Takamure (Blackboard Collaborate) Minutes approved – September 11, 2017. Note taking schedule Monday, October… Read more ›

Colleges Use Facebook Ads to Target Applicants, Parents, and Lawmakers

Tue, 2017-10-17 15:09
Colleges are spending millions on the ads. Data from admissions applications are one of their secret weapons. Privacy experts are crying foul.

Agenda October 16, 2017

Mon, 2017-10-16 13:55
Approval of minutes from September 11, 2017 Note taking schedule Monday, October 16 Monday, November 20 Monday, December 11 Monday, January 22 Monday, February 12 Monday, March 12 Monday, April 16 DE Federal Requirements Training Michelle and Rachael to conduct… Read more ›

eCafe Is OPEN

Fri, 2017-10-06 13:43

eCafe is open until  to select your questions for your end of course evaluations. To login to eCafe please go to  http://www.hawaii.edu/ecafe/

Ecafe Basics

  • What is eCAFE?
    • eCAFE is the official application for Course And Faculty Evaluations at the University of Hawaii. It is a UH system wide tool for faculty across all campuses to gather feedback from the students at the end of a course.
  • Who can use eCAFE?
    • UH instructors teaching one or more classes and students enrolled in one or more classes can use eCAFE. eCAFE can also be set up for staff members from the different campuses, colleges, divisions, departments and subjects to administer eCAFE for their organization.
  • How do I get access to eCAFE?
    • UH instructors and students login with their regular UH username and password. Staff members must be set up before they have access. If your organization would like to set up an administrative eCAFE account, please contact your campus coordinator.
  • How does eCAFE work?
  • How can I get help with eCAFE?
  • eCafe Basics: https://laulima.hawaii.edu/access/content/user/bhirata/Articulate_Projects/eCAFE%20-%20Storyline%20output/story.html

For Distance Courses:

The Leeward Distance Education Committee has approved the following recommended “Campus Specific Questions”.  We highly encourage you to use these questions. This will help to establish consistent evaluations each semester for your online course and can be compared across courses and disciplines.

Campus Specific Questions

  • Online communication with class members and the instructor helped me to learn course materials in an effective manner.
  • The instructor appears to have a thorough knowledge of the subject.
  • The instructor treated students with respect.
  • The instructor was willing to help and respond to questions in a timely manner.
  • Assignments are returned promptly.
  • Work requirements, course objectives, and grading system were clear from the beginning.
  • The instructor presented the course materials in a clear and organized way.
  • The amount of work required is appropriate for the credit received.
  • The course workload was well-distributed throughout the semester.
  • The materials provided by the instructor were relevant to the course objectives.
  • The activities & assessments in the course were reflective of course objectives.
  • I learn to apply principles from this course to new situations.
  • What did you like least about your online course experience?
  • What did you like most about your online course experience?
  • I would recommend this instructor to other students.

Global appraisal: Considering everything how would you rate this course?*  This question is added to all Leeward CC surveys.

 

Critical Thinking – Standards of Thought

Fri, 2017-09-22 12:36

Dr. Richard Paul defines the universal standards with which thinking may be “taken apart” evaluated and assessed.

A University Powered by the ‘Good Will’ of Others

Fri, 2017-09-22 10:17
The University of the People charges no tuition and now serves more than 10,000 students. Its founder, Shai Reshef, speaks about the volunteers who have made it a beacon for Syrian refugees, earthquake victims in Haiti, and undocumented students in the United States.

Unapproved Minutes September 11, 2017

Fri, 2017-09-15 14:12
Meeting called to order at 3:05 p.m. Minutes from April 24, 2017 meeting approved. Attendees: Karim Khan, Michelle Igarashi, Christy Takamure, Anemarie Paikai, Warren Kawano, Daniela Dutra Elliot, Rachael Inake. Feedback and suggestions on marketing the DE Liaison Program Present… Read more ›

Agenda September 11, 2017

Mon, 2017-09-11 14:34
Approval from Minutes April 24, 2017 Welcome and introductions Meeting minutes note takers for the year DE Committee Report 2016-2017 2016-2017 Google Drive folder Creation of 2017-2018 Google Drive folder Follow-up and feedback DE Liaison Program Getting the word out… Read more ›

How to Help Students Feel Powerful at School

Tue, 2017-09-05 06:44
Educators can exert power over students—or they can create an environment where students feel energized and capable themselves.

BY AMY L. EVA | FEBRUARY 22, 201

Recently, a high school teacher and friend of mine started thinking more carefully about the power dynamics in her classroom. With the current political situation in mind, she was worried that she was exerting too much control over what students were learning and when. Instead, her vision was to empower them to take charge of their own educational experience, better preparing them for school and beyond.

“How can you get students to identify what theyneed and want to discuss rather than summarizing it for them?” a colleague had asked her.

Power is defined as the capacity to direct or influence the behavior of others. In the classroom, educators exert power through the class materials they select, the learning activities they design, and the ways in which they include students in classroom discussions.

In The Power Paradox, GGSC founding director Dacher Keltner reminds us that when we abuse our power, those around us can experience stress, anxiety, shame, and even poor health, which are all signs of powerlessness. So how can educators consciously use their power for the good?

This teacher and I explored some things she could do to shift the power dynamics in her classroom. The following suggestions may help your students to feel powerful at school.

1. Use a strengths-based approach to learning

One surefire way to make students feel powerless is to focus on everything they are weak and failing at. When problems loom large, they can undermine your students’ sense of self and capacity to engage in class. No doubt students who feel hopeless generally aren’t going to be excited about learning.

If you want your students to see themselves as potential leaders, take a strengths-based approach: Start by supporting them in identifying their strengths, aptitudes, and interests. A focus on students’ assets celebrates resilience, resources, and solutions.

Here are several activities that you might consider using in the classroom to capitalize on students’ strengths:

  • The VIA Survey of Character StrengthsTake time in class to have your students (ages 10 and above) complete this survey. It will help them to identify character strengths they have, such as hope, humility, honesty, kindness, and perseverance.
  • Use Your Strengths practice. Ask them to focus on one personal strength each day for a week, and choose a different way to experience that strength. For example, if curiosity is a strength, they might choose one new activity or idea to explore each day.
  • Best Possible Self practiceInvite your students to dream about their future (relative to school, career, relationships) and write about it each day for two weeks.
2. Identify your biases

An authentic, strengths-based approach to teaching and learning isn’t really possible unless teacher-leaders are committed to addressing their biases. Any biases we harbor against groups of students can manifest in our behavior, giving some students more power and opportunities than others.

Of course, the tricky business with biases is that they are often unconscious. However, we can use practical tools to help us unearth them. Invite a few trusted colleagues to visit and observe in your classroom. Ask your colleagues to watch your interactions with students and record their findings.

Consider tracking the following over time:

  • Who do you call on (based on gender, ethnicity, etc.)?
  • What is the tone of your responses (i.e., the ratio of positively to negatively worded comments)?
  • What is the content of your feedback (i.e., specific and concrete responses vs. general and/or dismissive responses)?

An honest look at this data could spark rich conversations with your colleagues and your own “aha” moments of learning and personal growth.

3. Be a warm demander

Apart from the ongoing work of acknowledging our negative biases, genuine care for our students means holding high positive expectations for all of them—and believing in their potential for growth. Numerous studies suggest that when adults have high expectations for students, students increase their motivation and achieve more. Our expectations may be the most powerful force in the classroom.

If you walk into your classroom believing that every student has the capacity for growth, then your students begin to believe it, too. Students read and respond to perceived expectations and biases. Stereotype threat is alive and well—students are at risk of conforming to stereotypes about their respective social groups if they sense you hold them.

Perhaps just as dangerous is a kind yet neutral approach to students that leans toward dismissiveness. Quiet concern is not enough.

“Teachers have to care so much about ethnically diverse students and their achievement that they accept nothing less than high-level success from them and work diligently to accomplish it. This is a very different conception of caring than the often-cited notion of ‘gentle nurturing and altruistic concern,’ which can lead to benign neglect,” says researcher Geneva Gay. This is a quote I often share with new teachers, and it may be the most important message in this article.

4. Create student-centered learning experiences

If we want students to feel empowered to take charge of their own learning, then student-centered learning experiences are essential. How do we create classroom environments that honor students’ voices and encourage active collaboration in the classroom?

Although highly structured, teacher-controlled lessons can be effective in helping all students meet a learning target, these types of lessons don’t always allow for rich and meaningful student participation.

Several other instructional approaches can be used to foster this kind of participation, including project-based learningcooperative learning, and service learning. All three of these methods can be thoughtfully structured to create an environment where students are engaging as a community, taking on meaningful roles, and striving for real-world, performance-based outcomes.

Finally, rather than defaulting to lectures and individual seat work, teachers can consciously weave in opportunities for students to share their day-to-day thinking with one another in a variety of classroom participant structures such as a think-pair-share or a fishbowl discussion. Students can also regularly use think alouds in pairs or small groups as they attempt to solve problems or understand texts.

5. Foster ongoing and active student reflection on learning

Another way students can direct their own educational experience—and end up learning more—is by establishing personally relevant learning goals and actively engaging in ongoing self-assessment.

There are several concrete ways that students can take the reins in monitoring and reflecting on their learning.

  • Portfolios. When students assemble portfolios of their work, problem solve around their challenges, and assess their growth relative to personal learning goals, they are more empowered in the learning process.
  • Multiple intelligences. If we help students to identify their capacities relative to multiple intelligences, we can collaborate with them to design personalized assessments that capture their performance and learning.
  • Conferences. Students can facilitate formal conferences with their teacher and family members (or portions of conferences) where they share their learning goals and progress toward meeting those goals.
6. Focus on modeling and practicing the “Big Five”

Students often feel more personally empowered if they are reflecting on their individual learning. Yet power grows and thrives (or not) in the social world of school.

In The Power Paradox, Keltner helps us to understand how power plays out in our daily lives. Across dormitories, camps, schools, businesses, and more, individuals who demonstrate the “Big Five social tendencies”—enthusiasm, kindness, focus, calmness, and openness—are considered more powerful by those in their social circle. “Enduring power comes from a focus on others,” he concludes.

If we translate this research to the classroom, teachers should not simply model these five ways of acting in the world, but provide opportunities for their students to experience and cherish the “Big Five” themselves:

  • Enthusiasm. Take a look at this clip of a teacher greeting his students before class. It will make your day. He shares an energetic, fun, and personalized handshake with every child in his classroom. Do you have rituals or practices that energize your students and connect them to you and each other?
  • Kindness. Research demonstrates that it is easier to be kind to people we know well than to those outside of our immediate social circle. Use this “shared identity” exercise in class to help your students move beyond their differences to seek out their commonalities.
  • Focus. Discuss and identify shared values at the start of the year. Then list the classroom expectations that will bring those values into focus throughout the year. Create a classroom constitution.
  • Calmness. Help yourself and your students slow down and reduce stress by engaging in brief periods of mindful breathing in the classroom.
  • Openness. Incorporate active listening activities to encourage students (and yourself) to attune to each other’s thoughts and feelings.

There may not be a better time to pause and examine how we use our power in classrooms and schools. Ultimately, a more democratic, empowered classroom is one where all members feel that they belong, they are valued, and they are capable of achieving their learning goals.

As my teacher-friend shared last week during our brainstorm: “The only answer to all of this craziness is to really know each other.” I think she is right on target.

Repost from Greater Good Science

That Hilarious Tweet About an Instructor’s Big Mistake? Almost Certainly Fake

Fri, 2017-09-01 11:05
The internet went wild over a student’s tale of the professor who got mad when no one showed up in the classroom for an online course.

Parker Palmer on Education as a Spiritual Practice

Mon, 2017-08-28 10:15
Parker Palmer on Education as a Spiritual Practice – an inspired vision for our path to truth.
by Maria Popova

Original Post from Charter of Compassion 

“Character is higher than intellect. Thinking is the function. Living is the functionary,” Emerson wrote in his spectacular 1837 speech on the life of the mind and the enterprise of education, adding: “A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think.” And yet in the century and a half since Emerson, the notion that education’s highest task is the cultivation of a great soul has become increasingly radical as we’ve grown more and more reliant on measuring the intellect and standardizing those measurements to the point of absurdity.

How to reclaim education’s essential engagement with the spirit is what writer and longtime educator Parker Palmer, a contemporary counterpart of Emerson’s, explores in his 1983 treatise To Know as We Are Known: A Spirituality of Education (public library).


More than three decades before his fantastic recent Naropa University commencement address and twenty years before his clarion call for inhabiting our hidden wholeness, Palmer writes:

I call the pain that permeates education “the pain of disconnection.” … Most [educators] go into teaching not for fame or fortune but because of a passion to connect. We feel deep kinship with some subject; we want to bring students into that relationship, to link them with the knowledge that is so life-giving to us; we want to work in community with colleagues who share our values and our vocation. But when institutional conditions create more combat than community, when the life of the mind alienates more than it connects, the heart goes out of things, and there is little left to sustain us.

In the midst of such pain, the spiritual traditions offer hope that is hard to find elsewhere, for all of them are ultimately concerned with getting us reconnected. These traditions build on the great truth that beneath the broken surface of our lives there remains — in the words of Thomas Merton — “a hidden wholeness.” The hope of every wisdom tradition is to recall us to that wholeness in the midst of our torn world, to reweave us into the community that is so threadbare today.


Photograph by Martine Franck, 1965

Pointing out that spiritual traditions have all too often been hijacked for obstructing rather than encouraging inquiry, Palmer argues for a spirituality of “sources” in education rather than one of “ends”:

A spirituality of ends wants to dictate the desirable outcomes of education in the life of the student. It uses the spiritual tradition as a template against which the ideas, beliefs, and behaviors of the student are to be measured. The goal is to shape the student to the template by the time his or her formal education concludes.

But that sort of education never gets started; it is no education at all. Authentic spirituality wants to open us to truth — whatever truth may be, wherever truth may take us. Such a spirituality does not dictate where we must go, but trusts that any path walked with integrity will take us to a place of knowledge. Such a spirituality encourages us to welcome diversity and conflict, to tolerate ambiguity, and to embrace paradox. By this understanding, the spirituality of education is not about dictating ends. It is about examining and clarifying the inner sources of teaching and learning, ridding us of the toxins that poison our hearts and minds… An authentic spirituality of education will address the fear that so often permeates and destroys teaching and learning. It will understand that fear, not ignorance, is the enemy of learning, and that fear is what gives ignorance its power.

[…]

To teach is to create a space in which obedience to truth is practiced.

In the remainder of To Know as We Are Known, tremendously timely three decades later, Palmer goes on to explore how to cultivate that space, why civic community is integral to it, and where the experience of education fits with the broader question of how we come to know reality. Complement it with John Dewey on the true purpose of education, Aldous Huxley on how to get out of your own light, and Victoria Safford on what it really means to “live our mission,” then revisit Palmer on the art of letting your soul speak.

Student Understandings- Google Form

Mon, 2017-08-28 10:07

How do you use the ideas and strategies in the courses you teach to foster a rich conception of critical thinking  in all aspects of life, including teaching and learning?  

Drs. Richard Paul and Linda Elder, in their How to Improve Student Learning, begin with two premises:

  1. that to learn a subject well, students must master the thinking that defines that subject, and
  2. that we, in turn, as their instructors, must design activities and assignments that require students to think actively within the concepts and principles of the subject.

Students should master fundamental concepts and principles before they attempt to learn more advanced concepts. If class time is focused on helping students perform well on these foundational activities, we feel confident that the goals of most instruction will be achieved. It is up to you, the instructor, to decide which of these ideas you will test in the classroom. Only you can decide how to teach your students.

Recommendation:  Use a “student understandings” Google form. This Google form should be given to students during the orientation to the course, with an explanation
of each item. Students then check off each item as they understand it. Here are sample:

It is important that students clearly understand what instructors expected of them.

Download

Making your syllabus viewable in Laulima

Mon, 2017-08-21 16:20
The Syllabus tool in Laulima allows you to post your syllabus for your students to access. To add the Syllabus tool:
  1. Log into Laulima.
  2. Click on your course site in the blue tabs across the top.
  3. Click on Site Info in the left menu of tools.
  4. Click on Edit Tools.
  5. Checkmark the Syllabus tool and click Continue and then Finish.
  6. Click on the Syllabus tool in the left menu and add your syllabus.
By default, the Syllabus tool is not published to students. To make it viewable to students, you’ll need to click the lightbulb icon ‘on’. And now to check/preview as a student, click the drop-down menu, “View site as:” at the top-right of your screen and choose “Student”. You should be able to see it. When you’re done, go back to the drop-down menu and select “Instructor.”

Experiments in Kindness

Tue, 2017-08-15 11:40

Audrey Lin is a volunteer extraordinaire with ServiceSpace. With a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, Lin has volunteered at the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India; at Karma Kitchen in Berkeley, California; and has served as an educator on both the east and west coasts of the United States. While not everyone has the ability to travel abroad to volunteer, Lin’s life and perspectives remind us that anyone can participate in acts of kindness. In today’s busy world we are all ‘connected’ on social media, but often fail to connect in real life. Taking time out to really see and acknowledge people can have profound effects on both the person doing the kind act, and the person receiving it. In this talk she shares stories about the powerful ripple effects of kindness within and without.

New Venture Will Offer Free Courses That Students Can Take for College Credit

Tue, 2017-08-08 23:00
The leaders of Freshman Year for Free call it an “on ramp” to college. It’s backed by a philanthropy in New York City called the Modern States Education Alliance.

4 Questions for 2 Experts on the Future of Higher Education

Thu, 2017-08-03 12:20
Ithaka is a nonprofit organization focused on technology and academic transformation. We asked Kevin M. Guthrie, its president, and Catharine Bond Hill, managing director of its Ithaka S+R consulting arm, which trends show the most promise and which are most overhyped.

Four Student Misconceptions about Learning

Wed, 2017-07-26 08:36
Four Student Misconceptions about Learning

By:


Learning is fast
– Students think that learning can happen a lot faster than it does. Take, for example, the way many students handle assigned readings. They think they can get what they need out of a chapter with one quick read through (electronic devices at the ready, snacks in hand, and ears flooded with music). Or, they don’t think it’s a problem to wait until the night before the exam and do all the assigned readings at once. “Students must learn that there are no shortcuts to reading comprehension.” (p. 216) Teachers need to design activities that regularly require students to interact with course text materials.“Efficient and effective learning starts with a proper mindset,” Stephen Chew writes in his short, readable, and very useful chapter, “Helping Students to Get the Most Out of Studying.” Chew continues, pointing out what most of us know firsthand, students harbor some fairly serious misconceptions that undermine their efforts to learn. He identifies four of them.
  1. Knowledge is composed of isolated facts – Students who hold this misconception demonstrate it when they memorize definitions. Chew writes about the commonly used student practice of making flash cards with only one term or concept on each card. The approach may enable students to regurgitate the correct definition, but they “never develop a connected understanding or how to reason with and apply concepts.” (p.216) The best way for teachers to correct this misconception is by using test questions that ask students to relate definitions, use definitions to construct arguments, or apply them to some situation.
  2. Being good at a subject is a matter of inborn talent rather than hard work – All of us have had students who tell us with great assurance that they can’t write, can’t do math, are horrible at science, or have no artistic ability. Chew points out that if students hold these beliefs about their abilities, they don’t try as hard in those areas and give up as soon as any difficulty is encountered. Then they have even more evidence about those absent abilities. Students need to bring to learning a “growth mindset,” recognized by statements like this, “Yes, I’m pretty good at math, but that’s because I’ve spend a lot of time doing it.” Teacher feedback can play an important role in helping students develop these growth mindsets.
  3. I’m really good at multi-tasking, especially during class or studying – We’ve been all over this one in the blog. “The evidence is clear: trying to perform multiple tasks at once is virtually never as effective as performing the tasks one at a time focusing completely on each one.” (p. 217) Chew also writes here about “inattentional blindness” which refers to the fact that when our attention is focused on one thing, we aren’t seeing other things. “The problem of not knowing what we missed is that we believe we haven’t missed anything.” (p.217)

Pointing out these misconceptions helps but probably not as much as demonstrations. Students, especially those in the 18-24 age range, don’t always believe what their teachers tell them. The evidence offered by a demonstration is more difficult to ignore.

Please be encouraged to read Chew’s whole chapter (it’s only eight pages). It’s in an impressive new anthology which is reviewed in the February issue of The Teaching Professor newsletter. Briefly here, the book contains 24 chapters highlighting important research on the science of learning. The chapters are highly readable! They describe the research in accessible language and explore the implications of those findings. Very rarely do researchers (and most of these chapters are written by those involved with research) offer implementable suggestions. This book is full of them.

And here’s the most impressive part about this book: you can download it for free. It’s being made available by the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Yes, it’s a discipline-based piece of scholarly work, but as the editors correctly claim it’s a book written for anyone who teaches and cares about learning. Kudos to them for providing such a great resource!

Reference and link: Benassi, V. A., Overson, C. E., & Hakala, C. M. (Editors). (2014). Applying science of learning in education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum. Available at the Teaching of Psychology website: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/asle2014/index.php

Four Student Misconceptions about Learning was originally published on Jan. 29, 2014 and went on to become one of the popular articles on Faculty Focus that year.

Four Student Misconceptions about Learning

Why Revise? Because You Have an Authentic Audience

Wed, 2017-07-26 08:24
Photo credit: Official White House photo by Pete Souza

Whenever I start talking about the importance of revising our writing with my classes, I show them this photograph: an over-the-shoulder shot of Barack Obama holding a copy of his Inaugural Address from 2013. It’s a printed page covered with his handwritten edits. Words are crossed out, arrows go every which way, and there are notes everywhere.

My point in showing this to students has always been: “Look how important revision is — even the President of the United States takes the time to work on writing revision!” However, I used to overlook one key question when discussing the photograph with students: “Why did Mr. Obama care enough to revise his speech so much?”

Undoubtedly, the answer is that millions of people around the world would be listening to the speech, and thus he wanted his writing to be clear, precise, and flawless.

It should come as no surprise, then, that students care more about writing, revising, editing, proofreading, and perfecting their compositions when given a real-world audience. It’s not just something that they’ve written for practice or a grade. It’s a real piece of writing that will be read by real people in the real world.

5 Inspiring Strategies

Here are five successful writing strategies that I’ve used in my classroom to give students authentic audiences and motivate them to revise with gusto:

1. Self-Publishing Fiction

The world of self-publishing is more than just fan fiction and esoteric sci-fi. There are whole communities out there of budding writers sharing stories, giving each other feedback, and practicing the art of writing. Whatever kind of creative writing you do with your students, they can self-publish and connect with readers all over the world. Two of my favorite sites for students to self-publish are Wattpad and figment.

2. Recording Podcasts

This one comes with the added bonus that it forces students to read their writing aloud, which alerts them to all kinds of writing issues that would otherwise go unnoticed when reading silently. They can create podcasts about anything, but I’ve had students base them on National Public Radio’s This I Believe series. Giving students the opportunity to literally voice their opinions is powerful stuff. Getting to share those opinions is even more powerful. PodBean is a great place for students to upload and share their podcasts with the world.

3. Blogging

As a blogger myself, I clearly value the power of writing short pieces concerning things that I’m passionate about. And guess what? So do students! They can create blogs about anything that interests them — video games, sports, fashion, anything they choose. Not only will this passion-based writing energize them, but their words will also reach an audience that cares about the same things. I teach at a Google Apps for Education school, so having students create a public blog through Blogger is super easy, but edublogs, which is WordPress’ site targeted toward teachers and students, is also free.

4. Writing Correspondence

Learning to write letters, email, and other correspondence is an important skill in and of itself, but actually sending the correspondence to real people takes the lesson to a whole new level. I’ve had students write to prisoners of conscience around the world, with much success, as part of Amnesty International’s Write for Rights campaign. However, students can also write to any public persona, such as a letter to their state governor about an issue facing their community, or an email to the author of a book they’re reading. You could also go the old tried-and-true route of getting your students pen pals. Whatever you choose, the real power of this practice comes when students receive return correspondence. You can almost see their faces light up when they realize that their writing is deserving of a real-world response.

5. Making Videos for YouTube

The beauty of YouTube is that anyone can upload anything they want and instantly have an audience of millions. I’ve had students produce short, creative films based on books they were reading, but they can also create scripted how-to videos, screencasts, or interviews. This one is also great for giving students a chance to become amateur video editors and filmmakers — not a bad bonus!

The Bigger Audience

Let’s face it. Most of us middle- or high-school teachers are only one of about eight that our students will have during the course of a year. We might build great relationships with them and they might respect our opinion, but for most of them, they have a limit to how much they care about our assessment of their work. And can we blame them for this? Of course not. After countless assignments throughout the school year, the motivation for students to really care about impressing teachers with their writing must be pretty difficult to muster by the time, say, April rolls around.

For conventional writing assignments, students are usually trying to meet the expectations of one person — the teacher who assigned it. However, with an authentic audience, students are driven by the knowledge that their writing will leave the school, go out into the world, and be judged not for their ability to respond to an assignment, but for their ability to reach other people through their writing.

Dylan Fenton

English Teacher Why Revise? Because You Have an Authentic Audience

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