An Inquiry Project

The assignment was to “learn something” and “present”. I did learn something, and it definitely took me the 5-6 required hours, but the process was what I believe what we, as students, were to really learn. The frustration, the wanting to give up, the willingness to pay to get it done, the wanting to take it to the landfill, or throw it out the window. We were each given the opportunity to be challenged as students to take our learning to the next level. To be self-directed.

As adults we think we naturally do this, but I am not sure that we spend the time to challenge ourselves at something ‘new’. I chose to learn a piece of technology. Specifically an app on the Ipad that our students have in the kits they receive for school.

The thing about our presentation was to talk about the learning experiences we had and not to teach what we learned. It was difficult. We each were so excited to share. I am seeing such value in the debrief at the end of a class; letting everyone discuss their excitement as well as their challenges.

One thing leads to another and in the set up of my presentation I not only learned one presentation tool but 2! Yup, that is my very own ADD coming out! I also knew that my own instructor was aware at how easily distracted I was because once I had a topic she was very quick to help me narrow down the specifics.

My journey took me to Haiku Deck Presentations where I learned to use technology to create a more interesting presentation for my students as well as help me make it a little more active discussion by adding some interesting pictures. Being super excited about this I also learned how to make a google presentation to be able to present this.

My brain is very full!


Digital Storytelling……


I am very excited with the new approaches to the act of trying to impart knowledge from one person to another. I am seeing so many possibilities in various points along my curriculum, to engage the students just a little bit deeper and to maybe encourage them to be just a little more interested in the pieces along the way that don’t seem as exciting.

I see this digital storytelling as a very useful tool, or so I am hoping, and I will find out next week possibly when I incorporate it into the 2 weeks we will spend in our foundations of color class. I currently use text book, lithographs and flip charts to teach this class. I am looking forward to finding the resources on line where I can involve my students to “make their own story” about color. I am also expecting to be able to see more thoroughly how well they understand what we will be talking about.

I plan to have my students use google docs for journal purposes as we are debriefing at the end of class. In keeping with a single tool for them to learn, I will also use the google slides or the google drawing.

My plan is where I would put a flip chart page, I will look to find a resource or an activity where I believe the students personal involvement will not only keep them focused, it will give them a tactile activity to help encourage the learning and memory process from their personal experience. Keeping a record of their own learning in a digital story will also facilitate their problem solving skills in the future because they will not only remember to go back to their notes, but now they would have a visual tool as well. I love how this will incorporate several learning styles!!


Once upon a time, not so long ago I entered a classroom where I was NOT the teacher, but instead found myself as the student. I was super excited!….. Until the scary villain showed its horrifying face in the form of a paperless class! I was prepared to learn, but not prepared to learn this! (Yes, there are many exclamation points in this PG rated blog)…..

Now I know how my students feel when the science of hair comes at them?

The Flipped Classroom?

Flipped Classroom? How is it going to work for me?

I find that most of my students, not all but most, are arriving in my classroom with a not so successful history of high school. We are a creative bunch and that is not always encouraged in an academic world. The varied learning styles that accompany this incredible group of people that flock to my industry usually contains many kinesthetic learners, along with the visual and auditory learners. Because we are the trade industry of hair styling, many of our students expect the hands on learning and are incredibly excited to get started. The learning curve hits when we start to get into the theory behind our trade. Many students are discouraged and become quickly disengaged when it is time to be in the classroom. I am super excited to be able to incorporate many of these new ways of engaging my students to gain the knowledge of why and what they are learning.

I teach to a test. There are practical tests to do as well, but the last hurdle is the provincial red seal exam which gives them their license to practice as a journeyman hairstylist. I believe I can bring more intrigue and interest by getting my students to buy-in to what they need to know with this technique of flipping a classroom. The students I have love their technology. I am encouraged to draw their interests to the classroom by being able to assign pre-work, a little pre-research, before some of the tougher theory classes where they will come to class with questions and some excitement rather than the humdrum feel that follows many.

Along with this pre-assignment I recognize that there will need to be some direction given. I believe that many of my students would need some guidance for the first few attempts at this kind of assignment. With a little less information given with each task I do believe that they would enjoy the responsibility and the accountability this would give them and I see it driving them forward with less resistance to the classroom learning that needs to take place.

Student-Centered Learning

This reflection is in reference to the following article.

This is a very interesting article that provides a model for self-directed learning. The author, Terry Heick, gives us some interesting facts about this learning model. Self-directed learning is where the student decides what they would learn and how they will choose to acquire the knowledge to do so. Terry has given us a model in this article that he wrote at TeachThought which provides us with a way of seeing the process a student would go through to learn in a self-directed manner.

I really enjoyed this article and found it to be interesting, enlightening and even challenging to be able to find some ways to use it in my own classroom. In considering this method I am grateful that I have adult students because I feel that this method needs more life experience to make more informed choices. I like the idea of this model but I also feel challenged as to how I will apply it to my classroom. I am looking to consider teaching this model to a classroom where the students will first learn the idea of what would be required of them, and then to give them a few topics to choose from and them let them run with their ideas and see how this process would work for them. In my current, and limited, experience I feel strongly that an explanation of this learning model would need to be given to the students as to not over-whelm them.

I am excited to see how this process will grow the students in more than just their knowledge of the topic they choose to pursue, but also to see the growth of their characters, their life experiences, and their ability to continue their growth.

What would be your thoughts on self-directed learning for use in your class? How can you see this learning method working for your students?