I recently signed on as an ambassador for the Dell Education for Good (Ed4Good) social media initiative in Washington, DC at Thurgood Marshall Academy in S.E. The initiative is part of Dell’s SXSW Interactive (SXSWi) outreach effort in Austin, TX later this week. If you don’t already know, SXSWi is a five-day event that brings together the best and brightest minds in technology, social media and innovation. The goal for Ed4Good is to have those of us attending SXSW “bring a little of our hometown with us, doing something great with social media and a local school, while also supporting our community.” In preparation for Ed4Good coaches like myself are teaching social media classes to students across the country to not just show them how to use their web interactions to entertain and engage with friends, but to also “connect, collaborate and build support for important causes.”
I taught my class to an eager group of students taking an elective course on Digital Media Literacy. It seems fitting to use Thurgood Marshall Academy for this particular Ed4Good program. The schools mission is to prepare students to succceed in college and to actively engage in our democratic society. They serve 390 students in grades 9-12K and you may have seen the school featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in a piece that highlighted their 100% acceptance rate for graduates from school.
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As the DC coach for Ed4Good, it was my job to not only teach a social media class but to also help the students develop a strategy to raise awareness for a cause of their choosing. After much deliberation, the students decided we would put our social media efforts behind a campaign against animal cruelty called “UnFURgivable” as in “it’s unFURgivable to be cruel to animals”. Our goal is to have the students and their supporters do enough Tweets, blog posts and Facebook comments to trend across the social web on March 10, 2011. We’ll be working hard to make a difference over the next 48 hours. Then, on Thursday, March 10, just one day before the start of SXSW, Dell will use their new Social Media Listening Command Center to aggregate and monitor all of our community Internet efforts across the country. Dell will use its social media monitoring and measurement tools to identify the best local effort by the nationwide teams and reward the school with the most traction on the web up to $10,000 dollars in prizes.
Here’s where you come in:
Please help our cause by following @unFURgvble on Twitter. Then, on Thursday, March 10, 2011 please RT @unFURgvble as often as possible using the hashtags #WDC and #ed4good to identify our Washington, DC Education for Good efforts.
Spread the word:
Please tell as many people as you can about the unFurgivable efforts within your social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.).
Participation is about:
- Students using social media to do good in their community.
- A fun social experiment allowing social media folks to play, teach, learn, do good and give back to our community.
- Supporting social efforts that interested you.
- Knowing you helped students gain bragging rights that they create a trend across the social web.
The students have already started their Twitter social media initiative… here’s an example of what’s being Tweeted…