Social Networking is Cool


ChinchillaVilla

One of the best things to come out of our school’s social network experiment is happening right now. Literally, its happening in front of me as I write. I’m sitting in the student union watching a small group of my student’s creating posters to hang around school. They are trying to raise money for a couple animal organizations. And, and, they organized their fundraising group through our network.

A couple weeks ago one of our 4 face-to-face instructors created an assignment where students use Google Sites to organize research, store information, and publish a final research paper. Just getting another teacher at our school to use a Web 2.0 tool is exciting in itself, but what came next is really cool.

One of her students, who is also in an online course I teach, contacted me on Yahoo IM and asked, “hey, Mr. Plough, how would I go about raising money to donate to an animal organization I care about?” We talked for a little bit, figured out what she was interested in doing, and then I said, “why don’t you use the social network to promote your ideas and see what happens.”

It’s been two weeks and here is what has happened so far:

  • she organized a group of students who want to work together to raise money for 2 animal support organizations
  • they created a logo for their group called “All for Animals”
  • they developed a sales strategy involving selling lanyards for a small amount that would give 50 cents out of every dollar back to charity, the remaining money would go to keeping their “business” operating
  • they organized an e-recycle/garbage buyback program at our school which earns money for their charity
  • they are creating posters, cards, and flyers to help them promote the e-recycle and lanyard sales programs
  • they are planning a “pet festival” at a local are park with bands and pet vendors with all proceeds going to the same 2 animal charities

When I look forward to what I want to see out of our social network next year as we expand it from a pilot program to a school-wide program, its things like this that top my list.

Today is a good day.

photo courtesy of Flickr user: ChinchillaVilla

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