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Great Oaks Cosmetology


Great Oaks Career Campuses is a vocational school system offering many different opportunities for local vocational students in a practical, hands-on instructional environment. When the school asked to be able to provide a more technology based approach to instruction in their cosmetology lab, Sound Concepts LLC, with the assistance of school staff, designed a comprehensive approach to providing a more personalized instructional environment. To visit the school's web site, click on the picture above.

With the advent of lower cost audio and display devices coupled with significant advances in control capabilities comes the possibility of instructional facilities not previously available. As educators begin to comprehend how the new technologies can be used as a more impactful teaching aid, new system concepts are appearing in classrooms.

The classrooms described here are used to instruct high school students in the arts of cosmetology, message therapy and pedicures. To instruct students in these disciplines requires a largely participatory experience for the student while observing the instructor performing the same procedure. In the past, to provide close observation of work detail, students to had be close to the instructor which required sessions with only a few students. This prevented larger groups of students from observing the session simultaneously necessitating either smaller classes or down times for some students. By providing a camera(s) and individual monitors, an unlimited number of students can now observe the instructor’s work detail at the same time.   


In the cosmetology instructional lab, 22 individual workstations were provided for the student stylists and modeled after real world salon environments. The challenge was to be able to have a video monitor for each workstation but have it integrated in such a way that it would not intrude on the instructional environment, be protected from chemicals and secure from theft, and provide a safe and attractive installation. After several conversations with the designer/ manufacturer of the workstations, a design was decided on that allowed the monitor to be positioned at standing eye level with all supporting electronics and cables secluded. A widescreen HD Totevision flush mount monitor was chosen for the input features and control capabilities. A clear plastic protective cover was added to prevent damage to the screen by chemicals used in the process of styling hair.


Since each cluster included two workstations positioned back to back, one signal/control device was installed at each cluster.The entire system was built using the Crestron Quick Media signal distribution with a single Crescat cable run to each cluster. A distribution amplifier for each signal type to sends signals to the second monitor. These devices are all concealed behind one monitor in each cluster. A star ground electrical grid was designed and installed to prevent ground loops. A dedicated receptacle in each workstation supplies power to the A/V devices

In the center of the lab Sound Concepts installed two Sony HD remote controlled cameras for use by the instructor. One camera is positioned to provide a straight frontal shot of the instructors station and a second camera was positioned above the workstation to provide a direct down view. The instructor has the option of using one of two wireless control devices, a wireless touch panel or a water-proof remote control fob, to control the cameras. The control options include pan, zoom, tilt and the ability to choose which camera is active and any given time. A 32" widescreen HD monitor was mounted on the wall opposite the instructor's station for her to use as a program monitor. Additionally, two cameras, similarly configured, were installed in the facial massage room and one camera in the pedicure room. When instruction takes place from either of these rooms the video is sent to the workstation monitors. A Sennheiser wireless microphone system outfitted with a Countryman earset mic provides audio to the distributed ceiling mounted speakers. Control of the volume levels is done from the wireless Crestron touch-panel device.


A confidence monitor is positioned in such a way tht the instructor can see exactly what the students are viewing on their individual workstation monitor. A second camera is positioned to capture a straight on shot of the instruction and a camera positioned directly overhead of the workstation provides a top shot view pictured above


In addition to the cameras, Sound Concepts LLC provided audio and video support for DVD, VHS, resident computer, laptop computer and AM/FM tuner. Any of these sources can be sent to the monitors on the workstations, classroom Smartboard or reception room. The audio from the tuner can be sent to the ceiling speakers to provide background music for times when there is no instructional audio.


Adjacent to the lab shown on the pictures above there is a classroom with a full compliment of electronics that can be used as the instructor sees fit.


A small room dedicated to facial treatment instruction is provided with a camera and a monitor the instructor can use to send the video of the procedure to any or all of the student workstations. Show is the camera dn the confidence monitor for that room.


A second camera and a monitor is also available for the instructor to use to send the video of the procedure to any or all of the student workstations.


A master control station is provided in the instructor's office where she can control all aspects of the electronics in the facility.


A reception/waiting room is provided for visiting guests. The full compliment of electronic technology is available for viewing as chosen by the instructor.


An openening in the receptioin wall area allows for a view of the classroom.


Here is another view of the reception area. .

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