Change the Ending


I read a blog the other day that, literally, made me yell, “YES!” If you haven’t read “7 Ways Technology can Transform Learning” by David Geurin, go read it. Now. You will be so glad you did.

One of the ways he suggests to better us technology is to allow students to share their work with an authentic audience rather than just the teacher or peers in class. He writes, “It’s really sad that most work students do in school ultimately ends up in a trash can…Say goodbye to the trashcan finish.”


Visions of my child’s projects from last year flash before my eyes: poster boards, manila folders, construction paper, glue.

She’s a sophomore in high school.

And guess where all those projects ended up? Yep….

It is sad.

I am guilty of this, too. In my own reading classroom, I have students keep a reader’s response journal. Within the pages of that journal are, often, great thoughts and questions and evidence of new learning. My students do share their work, but, the audience for it is small. Just me and the other students in class.

David Guerin made me think a lot about those reader response journals.  With all the digital tools available, the learning opportunities are endless. The audience for their ideas no longer has to be just me or the students in the classroom – the audience can now be global, authentic. The feedback they receive would be extensive, relevant and not just a grade in a grade book. Best of all, their work and all that great thinking will not end up in the trashcan, forgotten.

How fantastic.

Last year, I dipped my toe in the waters of authentic audience by having students publish some of their ANIMOTO and iMovie projects on YouTube. This year, though, I want to dive in, head first, all the way.

I have decided – No more trashcan finishes here. I’m changing the ending. This year, I want my kids to share those thoughts with others and move the discussions beyond my classroom walls. I learn so much on Twitter and reading blogs from experts who are so willing to share their ideas. My daddy used to tell me, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Absolutely! So, this year, my students and I will blog and share our ideas with a global audience.

I would love to hear from you. How have you changed the ending by, as David Guerin so brilliantly stated, saying goodbye to the trashcan finish in your classroom?


One thought on “Change the Ending

  1. Dr. Darci says:

    Ah….throwing kids hard work in the trash? Their fault or ours? I totally get what you are saying in this post. If kids work doesn’t matter, why should they care? But an authentic audience (besides the teacher) really matters. What if they are trying to ask the right questions, working with others to find answers, and posting their results for others to see? That’s powerful stuff! Thanks for sharing! You inspire me!


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