An online curriculum provides an interactive learning experience for students at The Institute...
An online curriculum provides an interactive learning experience for students at The Institute of Beauty and Wellness in Milwaukee, WI.

Every year, MODERN SALON Media pays tribute to great work being done by leading cosmetology schools via its Excellence in Education recognition program. Hundreds of applications are submitted by individual and multi-unit schools across the country, and for 2015, 38 schools were named honorees in eight categories ranging from Community Service to Placement to Technology.

MODERN SALON Media Vice President/Group Publisher Steve Reiss announced the 2015 Excellence in Education top honorees on Saturday, October 24, 2015, at the AACS Annual Convention & Expo in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Excellence in Education was created in conjunction with a partnership between Modern Salon Media and the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS); the program helps the school community collect and share examples of great work being done across the country.

Two top honorees—one individual school location, and a multi-location school organization—were recognized in each of the eight categories.

In the Technology category, textbooks are a thing of the past. Tablets or iPads preloaded with interactive curriculum are now a standard part of student kits. Students and educators are given 24/7 access to pertinent information through new innovations.

The top Technology honorees this year are The Institute of Beauty and Wellness in Milwaukee, WI, for individual locations; and Paul Mitchell Schools in Sandy, UT, for multi-unit schools. However, all of the 2015 honorees had inspiring ideas to share.

Apps, which used to be a novelty, now provide everything a student could ever need: on-demand education, new hair collections, the ability to interact by drawing diagrams, or sending their work to educators, to name a few. 

As for social media—students and educators alike are embracing it. YouTube channels have become particularly popular due to the need to see video of technical how-tos. Periscope has quickly become another popular platform. Schools are using it to do live demonstrations and showcase platform artists. Instagram campaigns get students hashtagging their work for some friendly competition and a desire to see their work go viral. 

Here are a few ways the Technology top honorees integrate apps, devices and more into their curriculums: 

Tablets with digital textbooks, detailed technical training and collaboration features are given to all students at The Institute of Beauty and Wellness in Milwaukee, WI.

Technology in individual locations

  • Message from the CEO at Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy, Plano, TX: Apple TVs utilized in classrooms. Skype used so CEO Bruno Mascolo can address students. 
  • SureTint at Crave Beauty Academy, Ballwin, MO: Salon dispensary has color control technology with SureTint Blending stations.
  • GuestVision tech at Crave Beauty Academy, Wichita, KS: Students trained in GuestVision technology to access client services and appointment information.
  • Plugged In at Paul Mitchell the School Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL: Plugged In tool is an interactive digital outlet that enables students to stay connected with education in and out of classroom and provide them with industry opportunities. 
  • Personal progress at Aveda Institute Portland, Portland, OR: Dedicated site for students gives access to data and allows students to monitor personal progression and information (attendance, contractual dates, estimated costs to complete program and more).
  • 360-views at Paul Mitchell the School Arlington, Dallas, San Antonio: Classrooms equipped with HD camera system to better view learning leader and angles of cuts/color.
  • iPad integration at Paul Mitchell the School Chicago, Chicago, IL: Students receive iPad to use Paul Mitchell color and cutting apps, create look books and document work. The also use Course Mate/Mind Tap through Milady on it. In June 2015, school launched worksheets on the iPad as well, allowing for better organization and for the ability to catch up on work.
  • Pivot Point LAB at The Institute of Beauty and Wellness, Milwaukee, WI: Partnering with Pivot Point LAB to bring students and online portal to connect outside of class. Includes an instant message feature and allows students to organize and access material via web-based application.

Intranet site for students makes educational tools and resources available 24/7 at Paul Mitchell Schools in Sandy, UT.

Technology in multi-unit schools

  • Interactive apps at Paul Mitchell Schools, Sandy, UT: Cutting System and Color System interactive apps for iPads and tablets let students type in answers, draw diagrams and e-mail work to teachers as well as see their progress as they complete activities. 
  • Student portal at Nurtur Aveda Institutes, Columbus, OH: Student portal pilot program (SMART software) allows students immediate, real-time access to grades, attendance and other info. 
  • YouTube tutorials at Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy, Plano, TX: YouTube channel engages with tutorials. Weekly updates on TONI&GUY channel encourage engagement. Active on FB, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram as well with a dedicated social media department.
  • Going PRO at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, Oak Brook, IL: New virtual learning platform: PRO (Practice, Realize, Obtain) gives access to lessons, supporting videos, and topical discussions. 

To view the entire list of finalists, click here. 

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