Reaching a broader audience

My very first assignment for MAET was a traditional research paper. But it became non-traditional very quickly. That research paper had to be posted on a blog, this blog to be exact. It was my very first post. The potential for ANYONE in the world to see my work was terrifying. I was very hesitant when I posted that first assignment. I was used to school being about figuring out what my teacher wanted so that I could earn all the points and get an A. I had no idea how that one aspect, posting my work, would completely change the way I related to the learning experience. Once I realized that there was a wider audience for the work I was creating, my investment in my work increased tremendously. Up until that point, school for me had been about jumping through hoops to satisfy whatever the teacher seemed to want.

MAET has made me realize that learning isn’t about what the teacher wants, and it isn’t really about the audience either.  It is about me as the student. It is about creating and presenting to the best of MY ability. All of a sudden, I am willing to take risks that I never would have taken before. I want to find out what I am capable of so that I can showcase my best work to the world.

Learning this way has changed the way I think about teaching. It has changed the message I give to the teachers that I work with. That message is embodied in the video I created for my iVideo project. The directions for the assignment were as follows: You will develop an i-Video – an elegant, concise, powerful video that inspires the viewer to consider an important educational idea. Due to my own experiences with learning over the last two years, it seemed natural to focus on providing students with a wider audience for their work. And thus, the idea for my video, For Your Eyes Only, was born.

It’s not spy school, student work is not for your eyes only.

That is the sentence that came to mind when I was trying to come up with a video idea. I decided to create a video that spoofed a typical spy movie. It would show the student experience as if the student’s work was top secret, to be viewed by the teacher only. I felt the exaggeration of that experience could really drive home the message. Mid-movie, the screeching brakes signify to the viewer to stop and really consider if this is what learning should look like. The last part of the movie highlights some ways to take that same lesson, an essay, and connect the student to a wider audience. 

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