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					South Staffordshire College

Title
Improving creative skills in hairdressing via itouch technology and social networking sites

Author: Steve Wileman & Katie Small

Institution: South Staffordshire College

Academic year: Sept 2009

Keywords; Facebook , Lifestyle learning, Differentiation, Mootube, iTouch

Technologies: iTouch, Wi-Fi, Mootube, Social networking

Main subject area: Hairdressing

Main level: Level 1 school leavers 15 – 17

Introduction and overview:
The project was delivered to 19 learners on a level 1 Hairdressing course. The students were visual
or kinesthetic learners.Itouches were deployed to the students thus allowing them to incorporate
and access hairdressing sites and journals via facebook/internet/intranet in a fun way.
Itouch’s were chosen due to limited space in salon for computers. Students are more familiar with
devises such as mobile phones than computers with Microsoft based software.
The itouch’s were easy to carry around with the students existing hairdressing tools & equipment
Facebook is used by many students as a lifestyle choice and staff wanted to harness this medium
into the students learning program. By using the facebook medium learning and research could be
incorporated into the student’s daily social communication routine.

Aims:
Use student’s existing lifestyle choices such as facebook & the internet
Send students deadlines/reminders learning materials to their itouch via social networking sites.
Allow students to access resources and learning materials independently in a small hairdressing
salon thus allowing differentiation and at their preferred pace.
Students can view and revisit video tutorials on the college’s safeguarded and monitored mootube
(in-house YouTube)
Encourage students to access internet based resources which facilitates the individuals personal
creative vision
Addressing the challenge:
Using the itouch and the app facebook allowed students to check their facebook accounts on a
frequent basic. The wifi access provided by the college allowed students to access their account out
of the classroom. Staff sent reminders deadline dates for assignments, notifications on when they
needed to bring in a model for assessment purposes via their facebook account. If the student was
on college premises and out of the classroom the message was usually accessed and
acknowledged very quickly. If off college premises the student would often pick up their facebook
messages via a home computer or mobile phone and again response more readily via the social
networking communication medium.

By utilising the itouch during creative skills lessons within the salon, lecturers were able to meet the
needs of the individual. Students could pause or revisit video tutorials / images from the college
mootube, their facebook wall or internet sites. The itouch’s opened up the learning environment in
the salon. Previously video tutorials were displayed on one projected background. This meant
students had to move away from their workstations to view the training materials. With the itouch’s
students could remain at their workstations, view the learning materials independently and research
different resources which showed the different interpretations of a cut or theme. This individualised
learning allowed students to explore their own creativity and develop their “own work” rather than
clones of “class” viewed material. These materials could also be viewed / revisited by students at a
more convenient time/location on the itouch or their facebook wall.


Outcomes and reactions:
The individual learning materials accessed by the students allowed creative styles to flourish. It also
reduced the amount of “cloned” work. Students could progress at different speeds, thus allowing
fast trackers to view stretching activities and videos uploaded to mootube.
 Motivation, research and student communication increased. The social networking site allowed
students to join large company facebook accounts which provided links to their shops and
hairdressing journals. Pictures of different cuts could be accessed and viewed from this facebook
link, and students were made aware of company competitions and events put on by companies
such as Trend Vision and Wella salons. Students would respond to lecturers reminders/comments
as the facebook medium was considered more in tune with their “instant” reply and chat way of
thinking.
Teaching and learning was not just within the classroom. Students regularly used the itouch and it
mobile Wi-Fi internet access on college premises during breaks and after the session had finished.
Regular reminders and chats online by the students and staff meant the students came to the
session more prepared and researched.

      Learners’ reactions
Enthusiasm for the devise and the social networking site never wavered. The student viewed the
itouch as a luxury item and the social networking site facebook as a part of their existing lifestyle.
Learners often posted images of their before and after cuts on their personal facebook wall. They
felt proud of their achievement s and shared these images with friends and family. They perceived
the facebook links to Trend Vision, Wella and other learning materials as more of a “friend” to follow,
keeping informed of new developments, journals and images that were posted, rather than a
learning activity.




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     Teachers’ reactions
Staff agreed that students who have used this technology have developed a more individualised
approach to their cuts and styles. The hand held devises have changed the salon classroom
dynamic. Learners are more engaged with their hand held wifi ready devises over the previous
computer lead sessions.. The groups overall personal creativity and pride in their work is far greater
than previous years. This level one group are much more level 2 ready as the staff have stretched
the students individualised creativity side which in turn has increased motivation

     Managers’ reactions
The direct manager has been very pro active in the molenet project and has encouraged staff to
attend the mobile devise training programs provided by South staffs partner-Stoke College in the
molenet project. At the same time she has made staff aware of the familiarity that facebook
generates and has stressed that it is a learning tool to be used in the context of teaching. It
shouldn’t be used to pass on personal information to students.

Lessons learned:
Before using facebook as a learning tool staff should discuss as a team how to collectively
approach this new medium. A list of do’s and don’ts should be generated which reflect the college’s
e safety strategy. Safeguarding measures need to be addressed and monitored.
Uploading the apps e.g. facebook to the itouch via itunes was very daunting to untrained staff. They
felt the students would know more about the use of new technology than themselves so were
initially reluctant to use the resources and equipment. To overcome this let the staff become familiar
and use the equipment and resources well in advance of the students. Ensure staffs receive
adequate training well before the equipment is issued.

Next steps:
Continue using the equipment, resources and social networking site with the students who progress
onto the level 2 course. Develop and incorporate the itouch, mootube and facebook into theory
lessons. Incorporate learner support mechanisms for students with learning difficulties eg text to
speech apps. Research other fit for purpose free apps and install on students itouch’s. Create more
mootube hairdressing videos using flip cameras and make available to students within the
safeguarded controlled college e learning environment

Links:




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