Saturday, January 12, 2008

Natural Hair Products

Okay, I've been wearing my hair natural for about 6 years now. I've been frustrated trying to find a consistent person to cut my hair the way I like it. I'm a cosmetologist, so I am allowed to be picky. Another frustration is finding hair products to define my natural curl (I'm a 4ab; thick density, and color-treated), impart moisture to my dry hair, and add shine.

Last semester while I was researching on the web for a cosmetology theory class I was teaching, I ran across a few videos in You Tube where women were making their own homemade hair products. I thought that it was interesting; but due to my hectic life at the time, I didn't pursue it.

Now, some months, later I ran across some bulk shea butter in one of my dresser drawers. I had just finished doing my hair color and was in the conditioning phase. I melted some of it in the microwave just as I had saw the young lady do on You Tube. I rinsed out the conditioner, towel dried my hair, and put some of the melted shea butter in my hair. WOW! It felt so soft after it dried and was shiny.

I didn't know that the shea butter would harden as it cooled. I then began my web search on homemade hair products for natural hair. I found several:

Now I am going to attempt to make my own body butters and hair butters, moisturizers, and conditioners. We'll see how it goes!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Web Based Curriculum Resources

The Web has grown to have a lot of content in the beauty/cosmetology area over the past several years. When I became a full time cosmetology instructor in 2004, I used the web to find content for the courses I taught. Back then, there was very little. Now, there is an abundance of material pertaining to beauty in general. But it is geared more for the consumer market, and not cosmetology students or professionals. When I do find material on the Web, I must make it useful for my students. Following is the process that I use to find and incorporate content that I find on the web for my theoretical courses.

The first thing that I do is read over the outcomes for the course. While I’m doing this, I identify which outcomes I’m going to research on the Web. Generally, I select topics that I know students may have difficulty comprehending or that the textbook only does a fair job of explaining.

Next, I use Google to conduct a keyword search to see if there are any resources or materials that I can use. While at Google, I check out the images and video that is available pertaining to the keyword search.

With resources/materials in hand, I decide what I’m going to use to complement the PowerPoint presentation created by the textbook manufacturer. If necessary, I add additional images and information I found to enhance the presentation. Although I use content I find on the Web to enhance the lecture presentation, the main purpose is to construct activities to reinforce the material in the textbook and lecture presentations.

There are two sites that I use often to develop activities for my students. One is How Stuff Works. I found this site several years ago by doing a keyword search on “hair color” for a tinting class I was teaching. The site has mange categories which are searchable. I conduct a keyword search to see if there is an article on my topic. If there is one, I read it and decide if I can use it. There isn’t one, I’ll try a search using Google.

Articles that I find on the Web are used as supplemental reading for the students. They must read the article and either answer questions I have provided, complete a worksheet, or summarize in their own words. Sometimes I let them conduct a Web search on keywords I’ve chosen. They select from one of the keywords that I have provided, search the web using Google or a search engine of their choosing, find an article, read it and summarize it. I’ve also broken them into groups and jig sawed several article and have them present to the class.

The other site is Green Eclipse. I was looking for an online crossword puzzle application and found this site using the keyword search “online crossword puzzle.” The crossword puzzle application is very user-friendly and versatile. Puzzles can be posed to a webpage to be used electronically or it can be printed and duplicated.

There are two other resources that I use to reinforce course content. They are Quia and Wisconsin Online Resource Center. Quia allows instructors (or students) the ability to create customized games online to supplement course materials. I use this site to create games as a review for test and exams. The Wisconsin Online Resource Center is a digital library of Web-based learning resources called “learning objects.” The learning objects are Flash presentations created by faculty in the WTCS (Wisconsin Technical College System) on a variety of topics. I use these presentations to reinforce material.

It is wonderful to see how the Web has become a resource in helping teachers supplement their course content. New and helpful websites are being added each day. With that said, for those of us who utilize the Web to supplement our course materials, we must make sure that the information we use is accurate and current. We must also make sure that when we use information retrieved from the Web in our lectures, it is properly cited. Also, when we use links to websites in our course management systems, we must make sure that the links are not broken.

I would like to see cosmetology teachers not only use the web as a resource; but become contributors of content as well. Currently we rely too heavily on textbook and product manufacturers as sources of information to use in our classes. While textbooks are good general references, some information in them is dated and too general. If we become our own resources of information and use the Web a means to share, collaborate and distribute information, we can tailor the information to meet our and our students’ needs. Also, our students will learn to use the Web as one of their resources of professional development.

Monday, June 26, 2006


Does the salon you work in use the same sanitation procedures that you learned in school? Please explain. Comments must be at least 1 paragraph of 3 sentences long.

Externship Accomplishments

What do you want to get out of your externship experience? Please be specific and go into detail. Write 1 paragraph of at least 3 sentences.

Externship Conclusions

Now that the class is complete, would you say that you accomplished your goals? Why or why not. Comments must be at least 1 paragraph or 3 sentences or more.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Podcast Subscriptions

I chose iTunes to locate podcasts. I subscribed to:

PodCast 411 is a podcast about "Podcasting and Podcasters." The host, Rob interviews various podcasters about their broadcasts. The interviewee's broadcasts are not necessarily about technology or web 2.0. Not only does Rob ask questions about the interviewee's subject matter; but he also asks questions about the technologies that are used to create the broadcasts.

The Web 2.0 Show hosts, Josh and Chris, interview leaders that are in the business-end of web 2.0 technologies. The episode I listened to they interviewed themselves-catching their subscribers up on what was going on with them.

One thing I found interesting about both blogs was their use of what I'll call "audiomercials," my twist on infomercials or commercials. Each broadcast gave information about future broadcasts, technologies used to create the broadcast and plugged their blogs, websites, future appearances, etc. Even on the web, there's no way around getting away from commercials!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Web 2.0 Resource Review: PageFlakes

Organizing all of our web 2.0 tools can be overwhelming and cumbersome. Resources such as PageFlakes ( help organize those tools. At one site users can create a home page that aggregates their RSS feeds, social bookmarks and digital photo storage site. PageFlakes has many other applications called “flakes” that can be added to the page. These flakes are created by community users. Some of the applications are games. a to do list and an address book. It is easy

Students, faculty and administration can benefit by using a resource such as PageFlakes to keep track of and organize their web 2.0 tools. As needed, pages can be added containing more content. As with most of the web 2.0 tools and resources, PageFlake pages can be shared with others or are private.

Web 2.0 Resource Review: Wikispaces

Who would have thought that the new millennium would bring about the practice of people (students, teachers, administrators, etc.) being able to collaborate online to complete a project. No more creating a word processing document, editing the hard copy; or emailing edits to the group of users. With the advent of a Web 2.0 tool called a wiki. Collaboration is more convenient and easy to do.

Wikispaces ( is a web-based tool (a wiki) that is used to help users create and edit documents anywhere, anytime. Wikispaces allows users to have a public wiki for free or a private wiki for a fee. The interface is very easy to follow. Users read content and then click on a button to edit the content.

In an educational setting wikis can be used by students, faculty and administration. Students can use a wiki to create class notes or in a creative writing class to create a class novel. Faculty (and administration) could use a wiki to create or update manuals or administrative procedures.

Web 2.0 Resource Review: GOffice

GOffice ( is a web based office suite. It has word processing desktop publishing, presentation and spreadsheet applications. User and create documents online and save them as a PDF file. That file can be shared with other people.

This tool would work well in a school setting for students who do not have access to a computer to complete assignments. Also it is a good tool for use in distant learning. Students may be using various platforms to create their documents, particularly word processing. Using the GOffice word processing application would allow students to be able to create the document, save it as a PDF file and email it to the instructor. Since the PDF format is widely used, the instructor will be able to open and view (or print) the document alleviating the need to for having several different word processing programs.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Blog Resources and Other Helpful Resources

I added Flickr as my digital photo resource. I chose Flickr basically because it is the most popular digital photo resource and it is owned by Yahoo whom I have had an email account with for several years.

Flickr is easy to use and I like the various choices you can select to link your photos to your blog. I also like that you can make some photos private and some photos public. Another useful feature is that you can set how a user can use the picture (or not use the picture).

The social bookmarking resource I used is As I am reading blogs, is probably the most popular social bookmarking site. Adding a site to your list is easy. Buttons can be installed that are added to the browser toolbar. Then you simply click on the "post to" button and the site is added to your "my" list. It was also easy to add my list to my blog. One thing I am still trying to figure out is how to have separate folders for sites that I want to be viewed publically and those that I want private.

Other helpful resources I added are Wisc-online (The Wisconsin Online Resource Center)it is a digital library of Web-based learning resources called “learning objects.” The learning objects are Flash presentations created by faculty in the WTCS (Wisconsin Technical College System) on a variety of topics. I use them as part of my face-to-face and blended lectures. They are also useful for online courses.

Another resource is Quia. This website gives instructors the ability to create customized activities online to supplement in-class activities.

Netsmartz was added as a resource because it has a wealth of information for parents, teachers, children and law enforcement on internet safety.

I have been using Greeneclipse's crossword puzzle application for a few years. I added it as a resource because it is easy to use and the crossword puzzles it generates can be used electronically or paper copy.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Macromedia Breeze Class

Yesterday (May 31st) I completed a Macromedia Breeze Presenter class through the Professional Development Department at my school (Milwaukee Area Technical College).

Breeze Presenter is a tool that you use inside of PowerPoint to convent PowerPoint presentations into flash. Audio narration can be added along with the capability to create an interactive quiz as well as incorporating other media such as .avi (movie) files.

I found this software to be very interesting and easy to use. I like the fact that I can create a quiz within the presentation that can be scored (or not scored) and the results will be posted to Blackboard. (Blackboard is the course content system that we use). It was easy to record audio to each slide as will as edit the audio if necessary.

During the class, I compared using Breeze versus podcasting a lecture. Breeze might be less time-consuming to use to produce a presention in the long run. But I like the "live" interactivity that podcasting presents.

Here is a lecture that I produced using Breeze Presenter Wigs: An Introduction.