My grad class assigned me a “Networked Learning Project”. What is that? Well, I had to choose something that I wanted to learn, but didn’t have the time or energy to learn it. Considering I am 33 years old and don’t know what to do with my hair…ever…I thought this was the perfect opportunity to learn some basics. I could only use YouTube and discussion forums, but I quickly discovered that those are not limitations in ANY way, shape, or form. After hours and hours of time spent on YouTube and rejections from many hair forums, I learned more than I ever thought I could know about how to style my hair.
As ridiculous as it may sound, I DID need to learn how to style my hair. I learned so many things that most normal girls probably already know: what products to use and when, how to use a curling iron, how to do a fishtail braid, how to make sure your hair stays put, etc. Honestly, this project has taken me to “I’m a real girl!” level. See my video for only a few things that I learned:
Some of the key things I’ve learned is that there are people on YouTube who specialize in certain things (hair styling, being only one specialization) and that when you find someone that knows what they are talking about and gives explicit verbal and visual explanations, they are “keepers”. If it weren’t for Tina, I wouldn’t have been able to learn how to adapt the lessons for my “overnight curls” into large, voluminous, realistic, and WANTED waves. If it weren’t for Lilith, I wouldn’t be able to do fishtail braids or know how to make braids stylish, instead of childish. These two YouTube celebrities are heroines to me for their clarity on how to complete hairstyles. They are just two examples of my favorite “teachers”, as I learned to combine styles and techniques from MANY different YouTube sources (see my previous post for more references).
The key to being an effective YouTube instructor is ensuring that you are clear with what you are teaching, explain every key step and repeat it verbally (and sometimes visually), and make sure that your visual component matches everything your viewers NEED to see. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a billion: use the perspective of your videos wisely. I can’t wait to incorporate YouTube videos into my future lessons, and create some for my students as a reinforcing reference or pre-lesson, flipped classroom technique outside of class. Not only that, I am looking forward to learning more hair styles and other [secret] skills I’ve always wanted to master.
Ultimately, we are in the digital age and it is up to us to use it or lose it. If we do decide to use it, I recommend finding “specialists” that explain their content clearly and visually well. Good luck to you…and me!