I have been ranting about the evils of the "audience of one" for a few years now, but in case you haven't heard about this I shall explain...
Often students are asked to do great projects that are only seen by their teacher or as I call it: the audience of one. Sure they might take it home to show their parents but the students of the 21st Century want so much more.
A lot of the project that are done at my school are posted online. This changes everything. When student realize that the world might see their work, they really step up their game. Some might say that I am crazy for posting the work of elementary students online, but I am not, in fact I am just the opposite. I take the online safety of my students very seriously and I balance that with the student's need to be creators of web content. We constantly review our web safety guidelines as we work on digital projects and in return I get the most amazing results. As you know from previous blogs, we have over 2000 subscribers on iTunes of our daily podcast.
The other night we hosted a red carpet night at the school where we showcased all of the digital video work using different school technology that is done at our school. Projects like claymation, animation, web-shows and our 5th grade movie. Not only were our parents blown away by the incredible work of our students but I think the students were really amazed at what impact their work could have on an audience. They made people laugh, cry and take notice. Something magical happens when a crowd does a standing ovation to something that the student was a part of.
So please, with every chance you get, give your students a larger audience for their projects than just you and your classroom -- you'll be surprised at what you get back.