Social Media for Environmental Educators

I was recently asked how social media is relevant to environmental educators.    For a quick version of why its important, click the you tube video.

Here  is  my reply to the question:

1. 21st century communications – Social Media is the biggest shift in society since the Industrial Revolution

  • If not participating in social media as an educator you are at risk of losing your audience
  • Students use social media every day. Do you?  Can you link into their way of engaging?
  • Educators (environmental or other) need to learn and understand how to use social media tools in their teaching practice as this is how young people are communicating, sourcing information and learning new ideas in today’s world.
  • Watch this short clip I highlighted in a previous post, http://michellelaurie.com/2009/03/24/information-overload/ to be reminded of the amazing  information age we live in. Environmental Education/educators need to be a part of this.

2. Social media and marketing

  • Ideas are branded and marketed to people.  Environmental education should keep up with the best ways to get across their messages.
  • Facebook, twitter, and blogging are all tools to communicate your message and are equally important in today’s learning landscape as traditional tools such as text books, field trips and speakers.
  • If Facebook was a country – it would be the 4th largest according to its population.
  • Are environmental educators equipped and ready to build social media into their work?

Social media isn’t a fad – it’s a revolution in the way we communicate as a society.  Everyone in today’s age would benefit from embracing and understanding this form of communication to ensure they can engage and harness its power.

A few questions for the environmental educators committee:

– How old are the people on the committee designing the education platforms?

– How old are the people you are trying to reach as educators?

– Does the committee use social media?  If so, what do they think?  If not, why not?

– As educators – do you think social media is an important tool to understand more about?  If so, it is never to early to get started!

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