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Bill Lester sitting in front of a computer.

Creative Teaching Methods Are Making an Impact

There is nothing new in using social media to share information or inform the public about your services.

In fact, any business or organization that does not have a strong social media presence is essentially irrelevant. Online teaching is also not a new phenomenon. The University of Florida/ IFAS Extension office in Hernando County has been moving in the direction of offering more educational opportunities online for several years. Recent events surrounding the COVID-19 crisis have unexpectantly pushed these efforts forward in new and surprisingly positive ways.

Here in Hernando County, Extension has begun combining new technologies with the reach of social media to educate residents on a wide variety of topics and to diagnose lawn and garden problems.

Since the beginning of this recent crisis, 10 classes on topics ranging from preventing plant diseases in the landscape, to how to provide your family with fresh home-produced food have been offered online. These free classes were shared with over 320 residents through Zoom, and an additional 142 residents simultaneously through Facebook Live. After the classes were held anyone interested could watch a video of the class stored on our office’s Facebook page, with over 400 people taking advantage. In addition to class attendees well over 100 phone calls and emails on horticultural questions have been received and answered.

After viewing an online class on how to grow a successful herb garden, Cassie Coleman commented via Facebook Live:

This has been incredibly informational and exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you, Dr. Lester. These are the type of things we need to make it through this hard time.

Below is a recent interview with Fox Channel 13: