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The 2011 ASHS Annual Conference

Social Media How Can We Use It to Increase Our Effectiveness?

To provide a forum for sharing the most successful techniques in utilizing social media to increase our effectiveness in both teaching consumers as well as Master Gardener volunteers. Presentations on three uses of social media will be used to launch a discussion on best practices, barriers, and how Extension Educators can make the most effective use of social media.
Many Extension Educators are “feeling their way around” the world of social media.  Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and many more social media opportunities are all a possibility but which is the most effective use of time and effort?  The goal of this workshop is to present an overall picture of social media options and then learn what has worked and what hasn’t through presentations and discussion.

Three speakers will jumpstart the brainstorming and discussion by sharing their successful uses of social media.  At the conclusion of the presentations, the workshop leader will facilitate discussion on other methods, best practices, barriers to using, issues with ethics and privacy, and more.  The workshop and consequential discussion will be used as content for a paper.

Karen Jeannette, eXtension Community of Practice Support team member will start by sharing how we can increase the brand recognition and collaborative learning opportunities for Extension Master Gardeners and beyond.  She will discuss eXtension initiatives in creating social media models/exercises for helping people visualize a path to using social media with specific tools with regard to maximizing effectiveness and how they fit together (youtube, wikipedia, twitter, flickr, facebook, etc..)  

Four horticulture faculty members from across the country - Linda Chalker-Scott (Washington St.), Jeff Gillman (Minnesota), Holly Scoggins (Virginia Tech), and Bert Creg (Michigan State)  have teamed up to blog -  Their mission is to translate current research in gardening-related topics to the average gardener as well as bring scientific scrutiny to common gardening practices and lore - from tree care to compost tea. They will present some of the highlights as well as pitfalls/challenges associated with bringing plant science and critical thought to the gardening blogosphere.

John Traunfeld, University of Maryland Extension will present the “Grow It Eat It” program and the interactive network of over 7,000 food gardeners using the website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and e-news flashes. They have e-mail addresses of participants and have been able to survey gardeners in the Network.  He will share the data and what they have learned as a result of using social media for this program.

Workshop participants will be divided into groups and have an opportunity to discuss the various types of social media as well as brainstorm barriers, best management practices, and opportunities.  Groups will then share their discussion and thoughts with the entire group.

Monday, September 26, 2011: 12:15 PM
Kohala 2
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