Viral Educational Resources?

We live in a world of extremes: love and hate, hot and cold, easy and hard.  The technological world is no different.  There are the digital immigrants and digital natives, separated by years, by terminology, and by technology fluency.  Yet each group has valuable skills and talents to contribute to develop a safe and engaging internet experience.

Educational institutions and companies are working to develop resources that will engage digital natives in constructive and effective educational experiences online.  Though great advances have been made in recent years, we have a long way to go.  Perhaps we can learn from commercial companies who are also seeking ways to utilize the internet to promote their products.

While researching digital footprints, I was intrigued to see how Doritos was utilizing social networking sites to promote their products.  The company began a campaign to allow the public to name their newest flavor.

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The write up “YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT MEASURED FOR THE FIRST TIME” from February 16, 2010 begins with a great hook:  “The online space is dynamic, fast-paced and viral.  Canadians are finally being given the opportunity to have their digital footprint measured and their social status quantified, with the help of a first-of-its-kind Doritos challenge – Doritos®Viralocity.”  The article continues by saying:  “The key to the Doritos Viralocity contest is to be savvy about navigating through the online space.  There are two simple ways to achieve Doritos Viralocity success:

  • Be Creative: do your research, watch and learn from other videos that have gone viral and create your own that’s engaging, entertaining, quirky, humourous, and one-of-a-kind
  • Spread the Word:  take advantage of and use all of the social channels that exist to you, to get people watching and talking about your video”

To determine the winner Doritos pulled data from Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and AddThis.  You can see the winners in various categories at the official Doritos Viralocity site.  The overall winner, with what appears to be 3,415,824 hits was Jeff C with Spice 2.0 as his new flavor.  Jeff has some great technology connections in his advertisement.  Here is his video:

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Imagine the educational resources that would be developed if we had a hook like that to get students to generate their own educational resources!  Imagine how different our classrooms would be!  Imagine the independent learning that would occur as students pushed the boundaries of what they can do!  Wow!  IMAGINE!