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!

IMG_7268.JPG    UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_b2b.jpg

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.


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.





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!



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!


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.

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 7.54.48 PM.png

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.

How To (or Not) Curl Hair with a Flat Iron

This week I decided to work on my hair curling skills. Like I said last week, I want to be able to curl hair using a flat iron. I think this skill is great because it would save me from having to pack multiple hair styling tools, and I love the way the curls look when a flat iron is used.

I watched two YouTube videos this week before attempting to curl Mackenzie’s hair. I watched “how to curl you hair with a flat iron” by Shelley and she used a twist type technique which was similar to the other video I watched by Camila Coelho. Since both techniques were the same, I figured these steps must be THE TRICK I was looking for! I wasn’t wrong, when I achieved all the steps my curls turned out exactly like in the “how to” videos I watched.

It took a couple tries to get the hang of the steps. Clamp, twist, grab hair under, 360, pull. That is what I kept repeating in my head. However, I found it hard to be consistent. I found that if I didn’t hold the flat iron closed with just the right force it would cause the hair to get “caught” in the flat iron and then the curl would not turn out. I also found it really tricky to work on the right side of Mackenzie’s head as I had to turn my wrist backwards to the left and my hands did not want to work this way. It was a frustrating process that I have yet to master.

Three things that I learned for next time: 1) grip and force are key, hold the flat iron closed with a “loose” grip, 2) brush the hair before trying to curl it runs through the flat iron better, 3) clamp, twist, grab hair under, 360, pull.

The videos I used were extremely helpful, both hair stylists took their time demonstrating their technique on their own hair. They both shared great tips about how to protect the hair with heat spray, to use only 1-inch thick pieces, and to work in sections from the back to the front. However, next week I want to try to find a video that demonstrates a stylist working on a model, since that is what I am doing and there may be different “rules” for this than working on your own hair. I am looking forward to trying again and seeing how a stylist works on a model.

Watch my journey as I curl (and don’t curl) Mackenzie’s hair with a flat iron. Celebrate my successes with me and join me next week as I try again and add in a braid!

Feedly, WHAT?!

I have never even heard of Feedlybefore, so learning about it in class was exciting! I was struggling searching the internet for articles to share on my twitter
feed, and this resource makes finding and posting relevant articles easy.

screen shot 2019-01-27 at 4.01.51 pm

To begin I searched “technology and education” and there were pages and pages of resources. For choosing the resources that I thought would be relevant to my needs and interests at this time I looked at titles of webpages first. If the title was interesting, I then looked at how many people were following the resource. If there were more than a thousand followers, I clicked follow as well. I then searched only “education” too see what types of resources would show up, I added two more based on titles and followers. Once I had eight resources I went and clicked on each individual resources and skim read their article headings and authors. This was a great way to get a sense of the types of articles people were posting and who the authors were and how/ if they are related to education or types of technology for the classroom.

There was one site I ended up unfollowing, it was called “Ted Ed”. I thought it was a Ted talk based on education when I originally followed it. However, when I went back into it to see the videos, they were completely unrelated to education and not at all what I was looking for. I unfollowed and reflected on the importance of knowing your sources and actually looking into them before just sharing or following.

One of the resources I followed is called “Emerging Education Technologies”. It has 7000 followers and is related to the hashtags “education” and “tech”. The majority of the articles are by Kelly Walsh. From the author information on the bottom of his articles I learned that he is the Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester and that he founded the website. So, I am confident that this resource is going to be accurate and contain the kinds of articles I am looking for related to technology and education. I look forward to reading the posts.

Another resource that I followed is called “Educational Technology”. It has 32000 followers and is also related to the hashtags “education” and “tech”. The author of the articles are all listed as “educatorstechnology”. I cannot find any information on the author, however after skimming four articles I can see that the author uses credible resources in their blogs and has some very foundational background knowledge about the technologies they are recommending. There seems to be a lot of great tips for teachers and how to implement technology into the classroom in a way that flows.

I am looking forwards to reading and learning more about educational technology.


Follow Me as I Learn to Style Hair

Welcome to My Learning Project

I have always been fascinated by hair styles. I have very fine and thin hair, making it really difficult to style. I have always longed for long, thick hair so I could try all the “in” and “cool” hairstyles that didn’t work on my fine hair. I even considered hair school, to learn how to style, cut and dye hair before realizing that working and learning with children was my ultimate dream. So, I am taking this opportunity of a learning project to try to “tap into” my hair styling dreams again.

Some of the struggles I foreseen with the hair style I chose to work towards included: working with very thick, long hair, curling hair with a flat iron, creating depth and texture in the style, braiding sideways (and using braids other than French braids), and hiding bobby pins. I wanted to learn more before attempting the hair style, I even typed it in a few times, but I forced myself to hold off until I gave it my best effort from what I already know about hair styling. I could tell you about the process and my struggles, but it is best you watch it for yourself. Please take a look at my YouTube video for an insight on the work I have ahead of me during this learning journey.

I am looking forward to learning each of the individual steps of this particular hairstyle throughout my journey. I am also looking forward to learning about different products that will benefit the health of my models’ hair.  And my big dream is that someday I will be asked to help style hair for grads, bridesmaids, and maybe even brides themselves.

Please, follow me on my journey in finding reliable and useful resources to develop a lifelong skill in hair styling. Each week I will seek out, use, and critique hair styling videos and articles. All while improving my own videos, skills, and technology use.

Welcome to My Ed Tech Beginning

Weclome, I am Justine. You can almost always find me smiling, until I have to work with technology, then you can usually see my lips pressed together and my brow furrowed. Technology and I do not get along very well, and I am learning to have more patience with it and to not be afraid to reach out for help. Thankfully, I have a great network of tech savvy friends.

I am from a very small town in South West Saskatchewan. I attended Cabri School in the small town of Cabri, a K- Grade 12 school, where the average student population was around 110. We were fortunate to have a new facility built when I was in grade one. This allowed our school to have technology built into our school early, compared to most other rural schools.

Growing up I got to see teachers attempt to use the SmartBoards in their classrooms. Two classrooms were fortunate to receive SmartBoards in my school. While some teachers barely used them during my schooling, I have learned a lot about them through my internship experiences. If they become something you learn to use daily and effectively I think that they can be amazing classroom tools. I do not know much about the programs you can create interactive lessons for SmartBoards, I would love to learn more about it.

Beyond some interactive SmartBoard use, I do not have much background with educational technology. I have heard of apps such as SeeSaw, Remind, and Google Classroom. I have not had any direct experience with them yet. I look forward to trying some of these as I get into my own classrooms. I think something like Remind could be great to keep in touch with parents.

I am not a blogger. I find the blog websites incredibly confusing and overwhelming. I have been required to post blogs for two other courses and it was a painful process. I hope that this course helps resolve the overwhelming feelings and bring a little more fun to my blog posts. I find that there is so many steps and names for different parts of the blog, like creating menus, pages, and categories. I am still struggling creating these things to make it look and function properly. However, I am thankful for the support I have already received from my colleagues, they have offered great help to sort these things out with me.

I am new to twitter now as well, feel free to follow me. Which, I was very reluctant about at first, as I have never liked or understood it. I am slowly learning how to retweet and search for great personal learning networks (PLNs). I look forward to continuing to learn how to use the new, great social media networks out there that can help me create a positive digital footprint for myself!