A Dutch-ish Braid and Flawless Curls

I have always been really good at French braiding, I love doing this to my own hair and my friends’ hair. I learned how to do it when I was ten years old. You use three strands of hair and put the pieces over each other in a criss-cross method. Check out this video to see the French braid. However, the Dutch braid you use three strands, place the pieces under each other so that the braid POPS out of the head instead of into it, like with the French braid. Making it super hard to break my habits!

I used a Youtube video by Abby Smith to follow how to do the Dutch braid. I really loved how she gave specific tips about your hand positioning while doing the braid. I also found it really helpful how she slowed down the video, the slow motion helped me to kind of keep up with what she was doing. I think it would have been helpful if she used freeze frames of each step with some simple written instructions attached. This would have allowed me more time to process what I needed to do next and where I needed to place my hands.

Here are the results of the braid! I started accidentally doing a French braid, but you can see where I transitioned into the Dutch braid. Hopefully next time I can crush the braid, I just love how it looks!

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Before I started braiding, I tried my hand at curling with a flat iron again. I was really dreading this as I hadn’t practiced in a week and I find it so challenging… UNTIL I found the most AMAZING VIDEO on how to curl with a flat iron, WITHOUT TWISTING! I was so blown away. I watched the video twice, in shock that it could be SO SIMPLE! Every single curl that I did on Mackenzie’s hair was beautiful and just how I wanted them. I will definitely be using this technique from now on.

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What I really loved about Kayley Melissa’s video was that she provided awesome hair tips throughout. She took the time to show you how and where she applied her heat protectant spray, focusing on the tips of the hair. She then gave a helpful tip about scrunching the curls after applying the hair spray to help with hold and volume. I really enjoyed the tips that she gave. She encouraged trying the hair style without having the flat iron on until you knew what you were doing to avoid burning any hair or hands, this was very smart and useful! I am sure Mackenzie thanked Kayley Melissa for the tip too! One thing I did not like about the video was how she seemed to be advertising products, I find that to be a waste of time, as I already have my own products. Overall, I am thankful for the videos that helped me today and look forward to learning how to do some spirals next week.

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People, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND trying this method of curling your hair, I bet you won’t be disappointed! I subscribed to her channel as there looks like more great hair styles to be learned from her. I am trying it this week and will share the results in my next blog, stay tuned!

 

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Participation in Tech-Yay or YIKES?

Excuse me while I ramble in trying to understand my own fears. Feel free to jump to the questions and skip my confusion.

The reason I decided to take my Education Technology course (EDTC) is because I have a huge lack of confidence when it comes to technology. Technology is growing and changing so fast, I can’t keep up, and I don’t think I ever will. However, my thought is that if I can be aware of the changes happening, the networking potentials, and if I can understand, teach, and implement internet safety I will be able to help my students succeed. EDTC is helping me step outside of my comfort zone and network worldwide through twitter, it is building my toolbox by providing me helpful resources to use in the classroom, and it is helping me understand just how powerful technology is and continues to become.

Our latest discussion in EDCT 300 discussed the new culture of participation through technology. We have access to essentially anyone from anywhere in the world through web pages, blogs, YouTube, twitter, and many other social networking outlets. My initial thoughts… SCARY! How? How has our world managed to create such a powerful socialization community? But, I mean, WOW! What amazing opportunities it has created. Business, collaboration, teaching, learning, relationships, communication and so much more is accessible at our fingertips. Every. Single. Day. What does this mean for me as a new teacher? How will this affect how and what I teach? What does this mean for my students? What do they need to be prepared to use these outlets?

I will be completely honest, I am still trying to figure out the answers to these questions. During EDTC we discussed that teaching internet safety is crucial, but not just to grade 8 students, children are using technology before they even come to school. We need to begin teaching online safety as they come into school, and more in depth by grades 3 and 4, reinforcing it year after year. We discussed that we need to be using technology in the classroom to demonstrate safe practices, how to access and appropriately use technology to present information, learn, and interact in fun ways that enhance learning. The more we can expose the students to useful technology the more equipped they will be. Technology, whether we like it or not (I do not), is the future and it is only going to continue to advance.

We had the opportunity to view An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube by Wesch, which was presented in 2008- so keep in mind 11 years ago! Wesch said something that really stood out to me, “[internet] not just tools of communication, think of it as media mediating human relationships”. I cringed. I still cringe when I hear that because the truth in that one statement is exactly how I feel about technology these days. It has become a distraction, it has caused us to “disconnect” from the people in front of us, and it has changed the way that we communicate. While I obviously much prefer face-to-face communication and relationships, they are not as connected or intimate as they used to be, and I blame technology. Keep in mind these ideas are from my experience. However, Wesch suggests that the web and YouTube truly are “about linking people, sharing, trading, and collaborating. And I am not blind to the idea that he is absolutely correct, if we use it the web in the correct ways, with good intentions.

Something that Wesch said that lit up the teacher in me was that, in 2008, “over 50% [YouTube videos] have 18-24 year olds in them, and 25% have teens aged 12-17”. MIND BLOWN! So, I tried to find similar, more recent stats, I was unsuccessful. Although I can imagine it has only increased. The site Omnicore states, “Millennials prefer YouTube two to one over traditional television” (also recognizing the site OmnicoreAgency.com as the site asked), based on 2018 stats. From my own experience, almost all of my grade five students from internship watch YouTube daily, over TV shows or movies. This means that we truly NEED to be teaching technology safety on the internet and model this for our students, in my opinion, by grade 3 at the latest. Wesch showed us how his own video increased in views at an alarmingly fast rate by being shared and tagged on numerous other sites… the scariest part… without him even knowing it! *SHUDDER*.

So here are my questions for my readers:

  1. How can we ensure our students are using proper privacy settings? Is this our “job” or the parents?
  2. In what ways can I teach about internet safety that is not “boring”?
  3. What are your thoughts on the internet, is everyone as afraid as I am? How can I overcome this fear?

*note: I do realize the benefits of the networking, especially for gathering ideas, resources, guest speakers, and information from other educators that will benefit my learning and my students. I fear the social media, networking with “fakes” without knowing it, and the troubles and bullying children can get themselves into without even really knowing or understanding.

French Fishtail Success Story

I have always admired the looks of a fishtail braid but have never been able to master one. My model wasn’t feeling good, so I didn’t want to keep her too long by curling her hair and doing a braid. So, stay tuned next week to see the curls and braid.

I found a tutorial video by braidsandstyles12, I highly recommend her page, she has SO MANY AMAZING braiding tutorials. This video on the French fishtail is zoomed in on the hair and she repeats the steps over and over and really takes her time. It is very helpful and easy to follow, which I appreciated.

However, I wanted to be able to see how the hairstyle was done by a hair stylist on a model, rather than someone on herself. I watched a tutorial by Halli Bivona on the Howcast channel. This video is also helpful, as they zoomed in on her hands and you could clearly see which fingers she was using to wrap the hair into the braids. She also talks you through the steps and gives helpful tips throughout the video too. I really liked the extra tips, they added to the visuals and helped me understand better how to do the braid.

I have nothing to critique about either of these videos. I am thankful for the skill they taught me and I look forward to trying it on my own hair soon.

Thank you again to Mackenzie for being my model, even though she really wasn’t feeling well.

I am super proud of my French fishtail and I look forward to trying it again next week, sideways!

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My 1st “Solo” Twitter Chat

Katia introduced twitter chats to our edtc 300 class the other day. She modelled a mini chat with our class, staying online to help up through any questions or glitches. She then asked us to engage in a twitter chat on our own. The idea alone made me incredibly anxious.

I am not very good with technology, especially trying new things on my own after only being assisted once. I decided to take part in the #engagechat led by @daviswelcome on Friday night at 7 o’clock. I drove back to my home town that afternoon, so I only had about 30 minutes to get set up, I was panicking. I had to watch the Zoom class over again to figure out what the twitter extension was called for a twitter chat. It is called a tweetdeck. It allows you to follow a specific user and hashtag so that you only get the related tweets in your feed, making following along easier. I got all logged in and figured out how to follow the hashtag and the discussion leader. And then I had a five minute wait and the whole time I was feeling anxious. What if I didn’t know the answer to a question? What if people thought my answers were “childish” or not “good enough”?

And then it started… and all the stress dissipated. The time between questions was much slower than I had expected. We were given ample time to respond and read other responses. Which allowed time to retweet great thoughts, like, and take my time to respond thoughtfully. I really enjoyed the wisdom from some of the more experienced educators. We discussed voice and what it means to have your own voice, how leaders in the staff room may or may not value voice and what that might look like. I encourage my readers to answer their thoughts about voice and what you think it means to have a voice.

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After about an hour I had answered five questions and the chat drew to an end. I left feeling more confident about my tweeting skills and myself as a person. It felt encouraging when the other members of the chat would like and retweet my answers; a huge confidence booster. I also left the chat with 5 new followers and following 6 new people. I am looking forward to engaging in another chat soon.