From time to time, my dogs guest post on my blog. They are surprisingly articulate, though their typing skills leave a lot to be desired, but I digress. Two days ago, I decided that they should also start Tweeting.
It started out as a joke. I’ve been following @IAmAGoodDog for the past few months, and found him highly entertaining, so I created @Multi_Shepherds for Zoey & Murphy. It started out all fun and games: pick a profile picture, set a background, think about a style of tweet, establish a tone…. Oh, they write in all lowercase letters because it’s too hard to hold down the Shift key with a paw.
I realized that in addition to being able to have some fun (hey, after 6 months on crutches this seemed like a good idea – don’t judge), I had a great social media curriculum on my hands. Though there is tremendous value in having students learn to blog and Tweet, some schools and districts don’t yet have a culture to support an immersive dive into social media. However, what about teaching students to tweet as their pet? What about an account from the class or school mascot? What could this teach students not only about digital citizenship and social media, but about character, tone, and voice? By tweeting from the perspective of an animal or character, students could learn valuable skills without divulging any personal information.
I’m looking forward to tweeting on behalf of Zoey and Murphy. I can assure you that the content will be appropriate to all dog audiences. They are already adding to their PLN, following @BooIzzy, @BradyTheGolden, and @NormanScooter as well as more well known canines such as Snoopy. They are learning that pictures should make a positive contribution to their digital footprint, and that they should add value to their followers. The only challenge now is for them to learn to follow without herding!