TEACHING RESIDENTS ON FACEBOOK LIVE. W. Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, Hernando County, Brooksville, FL.
1)Situation/Target Audience: The UF/IFAS Hernando County horticulture program provides education to residents on a wide variety of landscape topics. This is especially important now that we have so many new residents moving here from other states. 2) Objectives: Hernando County Extension has begun using Facebook Live to better publicize and market programs. Based on viewer feedback, there is an unmet need for educational opportunities for those who are unable to attend in-person classes. Our objective is to determine if landscape educational programs would be viewed on the Facebook platform, if Facebook Live was utilized. 3) Educational Methods: On February 14, 2019 a live demonstration on how to properly prune crape myrtle trees was broadcast on the Hernando County Extension Facebook page, after being announced several days before. Proper methods were demonstrated by Hernando County’s Florida-Friendly Landscape coordinator Lilly Browning. 4) Results: During the live broadcast, at least 17 positive comments were made. Since the original broadcast, the video has been viewed 848 times, with the video being shared 21 times. Other Facebook Live presentations have received between 82 and 241 views. The educational demonstration video has received the most views so far. 5) Conclusions: New technologies such as Facebook Live, can be effective for promoting and marketing Extension programs, along with offering actual educational classes, workshops, and series. Many of our clients are not able to attend traditional daytime classes in-person, so Extension must always be looking for new and innovative ways to better serve our communities.