For the past two weeks I have been learning how to braid, and my end goal was to learn how to French braid my entire head by the end of the semester. Well guess what?
I did it!
But let me just say this: it wasn’t an easy feat. Learning how to French braid is probably the most difficult skill that I have learned throughout this entire project.
Before I even attempted to French braid my whole head, I practiced French braiding on small sections of my hair, and eventually, I learned how to French braid my bangs. This tutorial video was the main resource that I used when I first began learning how to braid. As I mentioned in my previous post, I also practiced on a Barbie doll that I borrowed from my little cousin. Although the Barbie isn’t a tech resource (whoops!) it really came in handy — it was helpful to be able to practice my French braiding technique on real (fake) hair
When I was finally ready to attempt French braiding my whole head, I watched these two tutorial videos:
Although the videos are very similar, and both provide good instructions, I actually found the second video a little more helpful. When you French braid you own hair you are essentially blind — can’t see what’s going on in the back of your head. The woman in the second video French braids her own hair (whereas the woman in the first video braids her daughter’s hair), so it was helpful to see how to hold and cross my hair. It took me several hours and multiple attempts, but I finally got the hang of it. The braid in the picture above is a little crooked, and it’s not as smooth as I would have liked, but overall I think it turned out really well!
And with that, my #LearningProject has now come to an end; the past six weeks have just flown by. Check out this recap of my entire #LearningProject experience:
- Introduction and rationale for my #LearningProject
- Pictures demonstrating my level of mastery at the beginning
- Goals for the end
- Conducting research: what factors to consider when purchasing a curling iron
- Pictures of my brand new (and first ever!) curling iron
- Sharing (and critiquing) resources
- Making rookie mistakes
- Pictures showing progress
- “Quick and easy” hairstyles
- Frustrated by lack of decent resources — pictures difficult to follow
- Pictures comparing how the hairstyles were supposed to look vs. how they actually turned out
- Advantages of working with second or third-day hair vs. clean hair
- Pictures showing the three different messy bun styles that I tried
- Struggling with being a perfectionist
- Reflecting on how my #LearningProject has been going thus far
- Describing the many challenges of learning a skill online
- Sharing some of my favourite resources (TheSmallThingsBlog.com)
- Critiquing resources: how-to pictures vs. tutorial videos
- Sharing personal frustrations
- Final task: Learning how to braid
- Describing regular vs. French braid
- Sharing braiding resources for beginners
- Pictures of braiding progress
Reflections On My #LearningProject Experience
I have struggled with my hair my whole life — it used to be something that always got me down. My hair is very flat, fine, and frizzy, and the only two things that I could successfully do with my hair were straighten it or put it up into a ponytail. I was bored and frustrated with my hair. I chose to learn how to do my hair for my #LearningProject because I couldn’t think of a more personally meaningful skill for me to learn.
Going into my #LearningProject, I didn’t really have a specific goal or outcome in mind that I wanted to achieve. All I wanted was to learn a variety of hairstyles and techniques so that I could do more than simply straighten my hair. Overall, my #LearningProject wasn’t easy; it was challenging and extremely frustrating at times (check out this post where I describe some of the challenges of learning a skill online as well as my own personal frustrations), but I feel as though I have learned a lot. I went from having virtually zero hair-styling experience to learning a ton of different hair styles and techniques.
It may have not been a smooth learning experience, but I can definitely see the benefits of learning a skill online and sharing about progress openly in an online space. Through my #LearningProject, I was able to learn from and critically evaluate a variety of online resources like blogs, websites, and videos; I was able to share my progress openly through my blog and through the #LearningProject hashtag on Twitter; and I was able to receive feedback and words of encouragement and support from my PLN. Another benefit to learning a skill online is that it is flexible — I was able to learn at my own pace and choose resources that were best for me.
Overall, I’m glad that I had this experience. Thanks for following my #LearningProject journey!