The Authentic Audience

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In writing up my position paper (work in progress) ‘Blended Learning in Secondary Schools is a Start in the Right Direction’I wanted to use the term ‘authentic audience’.   My understanding of an ‘authentic audience’was an audience that would be genuinely interested in the media be it text,film or otherwise.    For example Twitter followers of the recent #RWCFinal all have a keen interest in rugby,likewise the topical discussions surrounding the  world financial crisis has a running conversation @OccupyWallSt  In an educational setting an ‘authentic audience’might mean something more.   In search of further clarification I consulted the great oracle Google  and came up with Rob Wall’s definition posted in response to the post Authentic Learning Environments which I think says it well

An authentic audience is an audience beyond the teacher, class or even the school. It is a heterogeneous audience as one would write for if one wrote in a newspaper or magazine article. It is an audience that chooses to read what is being written instead of a group that is chosen by the writer or a teacher. Rob Wall

This digression from my pressing assignment has made me consider something else and that is that the ‘academic’essay is still bound in the confines of the Word document or PDF file.  It’s not a particularly interactive format,I can of course include hyper-links but there’s  no allowance for the addition of folksonomies  the interactive application of collectively classifying information.   Hmmm perhaps it’s time for a rethink on the formal academic document.

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