Gehle, Alyssa

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I completed my field experience with Shawnee County Research and Extension from August 2016 through February 2017. During this time, I increased my public health knowledge and skills. Throughout my experience, I developed social media posts for the programs, Healthy You and Baby, Too and Walk Kansas. After developing the social media component, I developed a training session for the nutrition educators so the social media could be implemented properly. After training, the technology component of the Walk Kansas program was implemented. There are benefits and challenges to using technology and social media for nutrition education; however, I believe the benefits outweigh the challenges in this particular case. Overall, technology is another platform that can be implemented to encourage healthy eating habits in the public and specific target groups. Technology and social media are increasingly becoming integral parts of society. According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans get at least some of their news from online sources such as websites, apps or social networking sites (Mitchell, Gottfried, Barthel, & Shearer, 2016). Because many Americans are using technology to gain information, it is important that correct information is published on these platforms. Health information is no different, 72% of adults have gone online to look at medical information for himself or herself or someone else (Fox & Duggan, 2013). These statistics show that health information and news is being viewed via technology, and to interact with those seeking out information, technology needs to be used. Through this project, we were able to create text messages, Facebook posts, and tweets that could reach large audiences in the hopes of increasing knowledge of nutrition related subjects. By using technology, we hope to increase the public’s knowledge of nutrition and help to direct them to research-based sites that can better serve their needs. Although Facebook posts, tweets, and text messages were developed, we will focus on Facebook as that was found to be what many of our participants were using to find their information aside from search engines (EFNEP technology use survey. 2016).



Social Media, Nutrition, Educatoin, Technology