State Senators Tap Social Media for Education Week

As part of the ninth annual “Education Week” program at the Hawaii State Capitol, lawmakers will be introducing “Ask Your Senator,” a new project in which students from across the state can get answers by reaching out online.

Organized by the Hawaii State Senate Committee on Education, “Education Week” will run March 12 to March 16. The interactive week-long celebration honors the achievements and innovative efforts of our local schools, educators, students, and various programs throughout the State, from early childhood to the university system.

“As Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, I am constantly looking for ways to engage our State’s future leaders in the work we do today,” said Senator Jill Tokuda. “Their thoughts, opinions and ideas need to be heard at the legislative level, and it is incumbent on us to look for new and unique ways to communicate with them. Utilizing the tools social media provides to create a virtual civics classroom for our students is just one of the ways we can work with them to make a difference.”

The “Ask Your Senator” project provides an opportunity for students to lead the discussion, through student driven and student oriented questions. Students may take part in the “Ask Your Senator” project as a group (school or classroom) or as individuals using email, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Questions will be collected between March 5 and March 13, and selected questions will then be answered by senators via videos posted online and sent back to students.

Example question topics include topics such as: the legislative processes, issues or problems in your community, or general questions about the role of the legislature.

How to Participate in “Ask Your Senator”

  • Email: Send your questions or video link to
  • Twitter: Use the hashtag #HIAskYourSen
  • Facebook:
    • Share your message to the Hawaii Senate Majority Facebook page under the note Section, Ask Your Senator?
    • Share your message with your Senator on their Facebook page.
  • YouTube: Post a video question from you or your class with the title “Dear Hawaii State Senator, I Have a Question”

For more information, call (808) 586-7148, follow @HawaiiSenate on Twitter, check out the Hawaii Senate Majority page on Facebook, or visit the Hawaii Senate Majority profiles on Flickr and YouTube. Photo courtesy Hawaii Senate Communications.

Ryan Ozawa

Ryan Kawailani Ozawa has immersed himself in new technologies and online communities since the days before the web. From running a dial-up BBS in the early '90s to exploring today’s dynamic world of "Web 2.0" and social media, he has long embraced and evangelized the ways in which technology can bring people together.