From live on stage work to digital education, Electric London’s Mark Woolley and Joan Novak share their experience in education on different sides of the globe. Plus, what they admire most about working with one another, and why live education is still so important in today’s digital world.
How important is working with a global education team as you both do?
Mark Woolley: Firstly, it was a pleasure to have Joan come to England and we had a week to hang out together. Education should be shared so that people learn and get better and two it’s an important things is that education should be shared, one for the educator to push forward.
Joan Novak: When you’re teaching, you have an ah-ha moment. When you are expressing it to people in a room, you have to think about what you’re teaching on a different level. And sometimes when you are expressing it to a room of people you have someone in the room making a comment and you learn from that as well. I learn so much from teaching people I get back as much as I give.
What has been the biggest learning from students?
MW: For me, it’s about sharing. Any creative, is developing ideas all the time. Today, it’s all about sharing and if you can do that it makes you better in the process. The biggest thing is sharing the ideas, as soon as you have an audience that understands them, they go away learning and you have improved yourself.
JN: I agree, and you know everyone has a different way of approaching things. Sometimes if you have a group, you might get someone who provides a point of view that you learn from too. I’m 100 per cent on board, to pass down the information we have learned on our journey is so important.
What is the benefit to marrying digital and live education and can you?
MW: Digital education has its place, you can watch a music video. But there is something about seeing music live. And similarly the great thing about live education is you can ask questions, and get up close and really see things.
JN: For people who live in more remote areas, YouTube videos Instagram can be a bit more useful. Speaking even on my own behalf, digital can be quite useful to me to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s going on because I am in a bit more of a remote area. But when it comes to learning, I learn best when I’m standing beside someone doing it. A lot of us are visual learners, and having that hands on experience helps.
What would you say makes a good educator? What does it take?
JN: A good, easy to understand way of explaining things and be able to break it down. For me it was just practice, over all the years. You learn what resonates with people and find out how to explain it in a different way. Sometimes you can tell and you adjust.
MW: You have to show you are passionate. For some it means opening your own salons or being a session hairdresser. You want to someone who has maybe won some awards, has some credentials, and there is quality in what they are teaching.
What keeps you motivated to teach?
MW: For me it is about building a community of hairdressers and make sure I’m improving it all the time.
JN: It’s constantly trying to move forward and be better. I look forward to new opportunities that are presented to me as I grow.