3. Your Audience is Important
Every project should be presented in some fashion to an audience. In
fact, an interested, attentive audience is the cornerstone
of any good writing.
The vast communication ability of the Internet and Web can tumble down your classroom
walls and present an infinite number of different audiences to your students.
Furthermore, this audience is interactive: they can become project
allies and collaborators and dramatically change the learning experience.
Therefore, if you intend to incorporate Networked projects or publish
your project on the Web, you need to think about your audience.
Some eighty million people currently have access to the World Wide Web.
However, do not seek to address these undefined millions: a
hallmark of all good writing is to identify and address a specific audience. And
this need not be a huge audience... it simply has to be the right audience.
Your audience does not need to be huge...
it simply has to be right!
||As an example, the third graders who manage
Hollister School's Weather
Watch Project have received only a few messages about their project, but
those messages were from residents of their community who complimented them on their
accurate weather reporting service. According to teacher D.J. Perry, these few honest
comments from people in their hometown have made this project authentic, real, and
meaningful to the participating students.
Identify Your Audience
- other students in your school
- parents of your students
- adults in your local community
- other students in your community or around the world
- potential visitors (tourists) to your school or community
- people who are interested in the subject of your project (i.e., a
"scholarly" or "hobbyist" audience)
- Internet community
- general audience
Knowing your audience will help you to select
appropriate information, vocabulary, and reporting style.
Contact some members of your audience and ask for their advice in
your planning. As your project takes shape, ask them to review and provide feedback on the
results. This ongoing dialog will help your students to keep their task and purpose in
mind during the project, and give them helpful feedback for improving their work.