Darrell A. Dromgoole, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Scott Cummings, Associate Department Head and Program Leader; Professor and Extension Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
As the Covid 19 pandemic cases soon begin to drop and Texans begin to realize a “new normal” it is imperative that Extension educators embrace new methods in order to meet our clientele’s rapidly changing educational needs. Our Director, Dr. Jeff Hyde has stated that our goal is to impact every Texan. In order to accomplish this goal it will imperative to incorporate digital program delivery routinely in our Extension educational portfolio.
Live-streaming videos has become an increasingly effective educational tool for Extension education. They are used to present factual, conceptual, or procedural content to clientele (Winslett, 2014), provide flexible learning opportunities (Anderson & Ellis, 2001; Harrison, 2015), allow input from alternative voices and leading experts (Krauskopf, Zahn, & Hesse, 2012; Tan, E., & Pearce, N., 2011), provide feedback to clientele (Henderson & Phillips, 2015), and allow clientele to provide feedback to Extension educators (Cochrane & Bateman, 2010). This increasing use of digital video in Extension is understandable, as with an effective instructional design, videos have regularly been shown to lead to higher learning than static media (Castro-Alonso, Wong, Adesope, Ayres, & Paas, 2019; Höffler & Leutner, 2007) and live lectures (Craig & Friehs, 2013). Videos are valued as learning tools by Extension clientele (Henderson, Selwyn, & Aston, 2015), and can increase student motivation (Abeysekera & Dawson, 2015). Video has also been reported to have advantages over live demonstrations, when experiences need to be altered visually before conceptual understanding can occur, such as visualizing plant growth (Lowe & Schnotz, 2014). Overall, the message is clear that the advent of low cost video hosting, streaming technologies and video authoring tools for both Extension educators and clientele, offers exciting opportunities to improve learning outcomes in Extension education.
Facebook live is a live video streaming feature on Facebook that allows Extension educators to broadcast a live video out to your audience through your company page or personal profile. Facebook Live was released in April of 2016, In March 2017, Facebook extended live-streaming support to Personal Computers. In May, Facebook Live was updated on iOS (a mobile operating system created to utilize on many smartphones) to let two users livestream together. The following month, Facebook added support for closed captioning to live video.
The following is an example of how Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassadors have utilized Facebook live to disseminate information related to 4-H Livestock evaluation and project management:
With help from Camryn and her heifer, Shelly May, Miranda made a video on heifer evaluation for the Livestock Selection & Evaluation segment for Texas Youth Livestock and Agriculture. Check it out!
Once a Facebook Live video is created it will reside on the Extension page or profile for viewers who missed the live event to view. Videos are eligible to show up in an individual’s news feed during the live event, as well as after the event has ended. Yet, the chances of seeing a video while it’s live are now higher since Facebook has updated their ranking algorithm to show more live videos that are streaming in real-time.
Extension educators using Facebook live on their Extension pages have the ability to customize and control their audience once it has ended. Page followers and visitors may get a notification when a page or individual is going live.
Facebook Live videos receive 3X higher engagement than a video that is no longer live? Facebook Live videos also receive 5X more than standard photo posts, according to AdWeek.
Below are five ways you should be using Facebook Live in your marketing campaigns:
Facebook Live gives Extension a opportunity to demonstrate that there are real, caring humans involved with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, which in turn builds trust and leads to more educational opportunities.
Interacting with your followers doesn’t have to be limited to when you happen to be checking back in on your Extension Facebook page. Facebook Live allows you to answer your followers’ questions in real-time. This gives you an opportunity to engage with viewers when they’re most interested.
The best strategy to do this effectively is to create a recurring series. To best implement this strategy, be consistent with the time and day of week you go live, feature hosts that aren’t afraid to show off their personalities, and ensure you have someone at the ready to monitor questions so you can answer them either in real-time in the comments or in the actual broadcast itself.
Facebook Live is a great way to broadcast events and connect with clientele who weren’t able to attend.
Keeping your clientele informed on industry trends, emerging research findings, new technologies, etc.can be extremely positive for the overall Extension program. Clientele will start turning to you as their source to stay informed on industry news and you’ll build a loyal and engaged following.
Facebook Live is the ideal opportunity to demonstrate the unique personalities and values of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Extension educators have an enormous commitment to educate and assist clientele and this can be best seen during programming efforts where video can capture this commitment.
Below are 5 easy steps to get started:
If you’re on a mobile device or going live from your Facebook profile rather than your Extension Facebook page, a small button will appear when drafting a post that says “Live Video.” Select it to get started!
If you’re going live from a Facebook page on your desktop, you’ll see a box that says “Live Video” below the post box, like the one below.
The description and video thumbnail are by the far the most important pieces of your video. Without compelling copy to entice our clientele, your live video isn’t going to get much if any attention.
When writing your copy, ensure it’s direct, actionable, and informative, with some mystery to entice curiosity in your viewers.
Be aware of where the “finish” button is (at the bottom of the page) so you can give a proper sign-off.
Once you’re no longer live, your video can still live on for clientele to view at their convenience. Share your video on your Extension page, and make any edits you need to the description, thumbnail, add caption, etc.
Prior to utilizing any social media platform, all Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service educators should review and adhere to AgriLife Extension Social Media Guidelines.
Abeysekera, L., & Dawson, P. (2015). Motivation and cognitive load in the flipped classroom: definition, rationale and a call for research. Higher Education Research & Development, 34(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2014.934336.
Anderson, A. J., & Ellis, A. (2001). Using desktop video to enhance music instruction. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 17(3). https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1796.
Castro-Alonso, J. C., Wong, M., Adesope, O. O., Ayres, P., & Paas, F. (2019). Gender Imbalance in Instructional Dynamic Versus Static Visualizations: a Meta-analysis.Educational Psychology Review,31(2), 361-387. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-019-09469-1.
Cochrane, T., & Bateman, R. (2010). Smartphones give you wings: Pedagogical affordances of mobile Web 2.0. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(1). https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1098
Craig, C. L., & Friehs, C. G. (2013). Video and HTML: Testing online tutorial formats with biology students. Journal of Web Librarianship, 7(3), 292-304. https://doi.org/10.1080/19322909.2013.815112..
Henderson, M., & Phillips, M. (2015). Video-based feedback on student assessment: scarily personal. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 31(1). https://doi.org/doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1878.
Höffler, T. N., & Leutner, D. (2007). Instructional animation versus static pictures: A meta-analysis. Learning and Instruction, 17(6), 722-738. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2007.09.013.
Krauskopf, K., Zahn, C., & Hesse, F. W. (2012). Leveraging the affordances of Youtube: The role of pedagogical knowledge and mental models of technology functions for lesson planning with technology.Computers & Education, 58(4), 1194-1206. https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.12.010.
Lowe, R., & Schnotz, W. (2014). Animation principles in multimedia learning. In Cambridge handbooks in psychology. The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (2nd Edition ed., pp. 513-546). New York: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139547369.026.
Tan, E., & Pearce, N. (2011). Open education videos in the classroom: exploring the opportunities and barriers to the use of YouTube in teaching introductory sociology. Research in Learning Technology, 19(1), 125-133. https://doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v19s1/7783.
Winslett, G. (2014). What counts as educational video?: Working toward best practice alignment between video production approaches and outcomes. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 30(5). https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.458.