Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Creating an Authentic Audience for Students with Social Media

This story starts off with a class project to create a short Public Service Announcement for an anti-bullying campaign. The middle school students in this class created their PSAs and had the option to submit them to this anti-bullying contest. From the 900 submissions, only 7 were chosen as finalists. It just so happens that an 8th grader from my district was a finalist. After watching the "Break the Chains" video, many of us were touched and wanted to share this video with the world. We tweeted the link, posted it to Facebook, and emailed it to friends. When you are doing this, you never know who will end up seeing this. It turns out that someone in my office is friends with Jenna Fischer from the NBC show "The Office". She posted a link to the video on her Twitter page to her 174,948 followers!
Word got out to a local news station, and her story was shared there too! The audience for this student created video was growing exponentially!

As I was reflecting on these chain of events, my mind comes back to the power of social media and how it can create an authentic audience for students. With one simple tweet or Facebook post, student work can be truly shared with the world.

Do you provide your students with an authentic audience? Do you use social media tools to promote student work? Does you class have their own Twitter account where classwork can be shared? Do you allow students to use social media to broadcast their work to an authentic audience?

Not every project will take off like this one but every child deserves a truly authentic audience for their work. Having an authentic audience just might provide that extra bit of motivation for our students.