I started this blog as an on-going assignment last semester for an Educational Technology course. It was an open-ended assignment in that we were asked to write weekly on topics of our choice. However, one requirement was that we were to comment on our classmates’ blog entries, with the purpose of engaging our classmates in dialogue about our chosen topics/entries. Our blogs had a ‘built-in’ audience. After completing the course, I decided to continue the blog – as a way of exploring issues that I find personally interesting and with the aim of continuing to explore issues in education. But now that the course is completed, I wonder who reads these entries….
WordPress has an interesting function: the stats page, which indicates not only which blog entries are viewed, but breaks down views by country. I’ll admit that I check my blog stats occasionally and I noticed that someone had viewed my blog from countries like the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, Kenya, Malawi, etc. I don’t know in these countries. How did they come across my blog? This made me wonder about the importance of not only having an authentic audience for our writing, but having an audience with which to interact. As I go through various courses in the teacher education program at Nazareth College, I try to relate my personal experiences in my courses to my future students. Being aware that someone somewhere out there is at least visiting my blog, I pay closer attention to the content I post, as well as the conventions of writing that I use. It forces me to move beyond the spell check function and re-read my writing before publishing. In our classrooms, if students know that someone other than their teacher is reading their work, I believe that they too will pay closer attention to their writing. Having an authentic audience for student writing will help them develop a sense of intrinsic motivation and pride in their work. Having an authentic audience is the first step toward the idea that what we produce should be good, not merely good enough.