This information sheet is useful to teachers as it discusses the draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies Foundation to Year 10. The questions and answers included in the sheet are most liekly questions that the majority of teachers would like to know the answers to. These questions are:
How is the Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies F to 10 structured?
What are the key ideas of the Technologies learning area?
Why is learning Design and Technologies important for Australian students?
What is the timeline for development and implementation?
Is Digital Technologies a computer science curriculum?
What is the relationship between the Information and Communication Technology general capability and the Digital Technologies subject?
Given the speed with which technology changes, what features of the curriculum allow for change?
And there are many other questions included in the information sheet. Therefore, it is very important for teachers to keep up-to-date with new information that is given by ACARA.
The Virginia Children's Engineering Council website
Brooke Swann's insight:
This website features the Children's Engineering: A Teacher Resource Guide for Design and Technology in Grades K-5.
Each instructional unit includes a design brief, tips for teachers, a guided portfolio, and assessment rubric(s). The instructional units are provided in a convenient PDF format. The goal of the instructional units are to assist teachers at Years F to 5 to provide relevent classroom instruction that helps children develop a degree of technological capability. The website includes design briefs for Mathematics, English, Science and History. There is enough information provided in the instructional units for teachers to take these and use them in the classroom, however, teachers may need to make adaptations to meet the needs of their learners.
This website has many example design technology project ideas for primary school teachers to utilise. The project ideas have step-by-step instructions for teachers, with pictures to guide the instructions. Focus questions are also included. There is an information page for educators which includes information about how the project ideas align with state and national standards and numerous resources. There is also an information page for students which includes pictures of simple project ideas and instructions for students to follow.
This teaching resource offers relevant and stimulating exercises that support key areas of the Design & Technology curriculum, bringing the subject to life in the most exciting way. This resources aim to provide the tools teachers need to deliver exciting lessons in Design & Technology in today’s classrooms. Designed to be flexible, the resource offers a range of activities and ideas so that teachers can select the topics and exercises that suit their students best. While the focus is on students aged 11 – 14, materials can be adapted for use with the 14 – 16 age group. The resource also includes extension activities and discussion points, which would be very useful to teachers.
After exploring some alternatives to Scratch, I have chosen to replicate the racing car game that I designed on Scratch and design a similar racing car game on ‘GameMaker Studio’. I created different levels for the game, very similar to what I did when designing the game in Scratch. I used different obstacles in the game, by making the game more difficult. I learnt how to create simple command sequences in order to move the car and be able to move the car at different speeds and in different directions. This racing car game would provide students with opportunities to learn about angles and directions. As a whole class, the teacher and students could work together to design a game in Scratch. Then students could be given the opportunity to design a similar game or replicate the same game (depending on the students’ abilities) in an alternative program selected by the teacher. This would allow students to transfer their knowledge and skills of digital technologies to new situations.
GameMaker Studio would be a valuable digital technology tool in the classroom, which the car racing game fits into the Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies for Years 3-4, define simple problems, and follow and describe the algorithms (sequence of steps and decisions) needed to solve them. This activity also fits into the Australian Curriculum: Maths Years 3-4, identify angles as measures of turn and use simple directions to interpret information.
During weeks 4 and 5 I extended my knowledge of Scratch and computer programming by engaging in self-directed exploration of programming with Scratch. During this time I chose to extend upon one of my previous projects. I worked on creating a racing car game that included multiple levels. In these levels the tracks became more complex and difficult, as there were obstacles to be avoided. In this activity I learnt different ways of making the racing game more complex, such as adding obstacles on the track, so the person playing the game had to think about what they were doing. This activity has influenced my thinking of technology education, as Scratch is a great program that allows for differentiation, as teachers could use this program in the classroom by setting tasks for students that match their abilities. This activity also provides students with opportunities to learn about some maths concepts such as angles and directions.
Scratch would be a valuable digital technology tool in the classroom, which it fits into the Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies for Years 3-4, define simple problems, and follow and describe the algorithms (sequence of steps and decisions) needed to solve them. This activity also fits into the Australian Curriculum: Maths Years 3-4, identify angles as measures of turn and use simple directions to interpret information.
This resource is highly valued by Michelle Williams. The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) is one model for curriculum development. It leads you to discuss the curriculum idea and the pedagogy to your idea. Often the technology dominates descriptions of ICT learning activities. The TPACK model highlights that an idea for using ICT in classrooms must have a sound curriculum fit and meet the pedagogical needs for implementing the idea. Therefore, teachers must carefully select how they will use ICT in their design technology lessons, as ICT is a tool for learning.
This presentation covers information about what is technology; planning units of work; big concepts; materials of designing, making, imagining and thinking; decision making; useful planning components; example small and big tasks; designing within context; linking technology with other subjects; photos of example projects; and also includes a few valuable online resources for teachers. This presentation would be an excellent starting point for teachers as they will gain a basic understanding of the concepts of Design Technology. It will allow teachers to recoginse how valuable it is for students to use their imagination and creativity to make sense of the designed world and for students to understand that they can be both users and creators of technology.
This website provides teachers with background knowledge about electronics, packaging, environments, food, pneumatics, mechanisms, manufacturing projects and structures. Teachers can buy a packaging designer CDROM. The CD contains all of the packaging information pages from D&T Online along with the packaging designer application and all of the packaging net designs. This would be a very useful resource for teachers to gain background knowledge about design technology.
The information included in this leaflet discusses design in the classroom and the stages of the design process. The leaflet also includes: science and technology, how to develop student abilities and understanding in Years F to 4; excerpts from the National Science Education Standards; a design exploration for lower level students based around 'The Three Little Pig'; a design exploration for upper level students ased around 'power boat design'; science and technology, how to develop student abilities and understanding in Years 5 to 8 and Years 9 to 12; excerpts from the National Science Education Standards; and numerous resources and opportunities for teachers. This information would be very useful for teachers as the leaflet includes lots of relevant information for teaching design technology in the classroom.
A design brief is a written document for a design project. The document is focused on the desired results of design – not aesthetics. This slideshow includes information about: how a design brief works, the purpose of a design brief, design brief constraints, design brief specifications, and includes an example design brief for teachers to look at. The information is clear and easy to read and would give teachers some background knowledge about how to write a design brief for their students.
The Australian Curriculum: Technologies, Foundation to Year 10, is written on the assumption that all students from Foundation to Year 8 will study two subjects: Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies. The Australian Curriculum: Technologies will ensure that all students benefit from learning about and working with traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies that shape the world in which we live. It is intended that when implementing the curriculum, teachers will select technologies-specific content from the knowledge and understanding strand and ask students to apply the skills in the processes and production skills strand to that content.
Find free Design Technology teaching ideas, activities and resources for your primary and secondary classroom.
Brooke Swann's insight:
This website includes numerous Design Technology teaching ideas, activities and resources to assist teachers. Some examples are: make salt dough, design a classroom, and design a package. These resources are free and can be easily downloaded. There are resources available for the different year levels and the teacher can easily make differentiations to meet the learning needs of the students in their class.
Scratch is not only the program available for introducing concepts about digital technologies in the classroom. I searched on the internet to locate alternatives, which I ended up exploring two alternatives. The alternatives I chose are free and easy to download, which would be suitable for use in the classroom, as there are no known barriers that would interfere with the learning of students.
The first program I found is called ‘GameMaker Studio’. This program has similar features to Scratch including the use of command sequences and it is easy to use. The program is suitable for beginners and elementary students as there is lots of step-by-step information available for users. As well as making games development 80 per cent faster than coding for native languages, developers can create fully functional prototypes in just a few hours, and a full game in just a matter of weeks. I created a prototype of a game called ‘Karoshi ‘ as I only spent a couple of hours creating the game. I included different levels in the game- from easy to hard and included different obstacles that you have to pass through to complete the level. Students would have the opportunity to design a range of games including, puzzle games, maze games, word search games, obstacle games or solitaire games.
GameMake4r Studio would be a valuable digital technology tool in the classroom, which it fits into the Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies for Years 3-4, define simple problems, and follow and describe the algorithms (sequence of steps and decisions) needed to solve them and Years 5-6, Follow, modify and describe simple algorithms involving sequence of steps, decisions, and repetitions that are represented diagrammatically and in plain English.
Another program I found is called ‘Alice’. Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool designed to be a student's first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allowed me to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g. people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects. When creating my virtual world I dragged and dropped graphic tiles to create a program, where the instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice allowed me to immediately see how my animation program ran, enabling me to easily understand the relationship between the programming statements and the behaviour of objects in my animation. By manipulating the objects in the virtual world, students would gain experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course. This program would be very suitable for use in the primary school classroom as the teacher has access to a resource textbook and materials and tutorials which they can guide their class through.
Alice would be a valuable digital technology tool in the classroom, which it fits into the Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies for Years 3-4, Design and implement simple visual programs with user input and branching and Years 5-6, Design and implement digital solutions using visual programs with user input and branching. This activity also fits into the Australian Curriculum: Maths Year 3, make models of three dimensional objects and describe key features.
A digital technology available for learners in the 21st Century is a program called Scratch. Scratch is a free computer programming environment for children.
In the first week of interacting with scratch I completed simple activities which included using simple commands, simple command sequences and using repeating command sequences. I found it quite easy to follow the instructions given in the activities, which the activities allowed me to understand the basics of using Scratch. In this week I also experimented with drawing regular polygons, such as an equilateral triangle, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon and decagon. Further in this week I programmed an Etch-a-Sketch. Through this I experimented with sound effects, which the computer lab became quite noisy. If I was to conduct a lesson using Scratch in the classroom I would ensure that headphones were available for all students. Through engaging with these activities I learnt that Scratch could be a valuable learning tool in the classroom to teach the technology key learning area. The regular polygons activity provides students with opportunities to learn about geometric shapes.
In the second week of interacting with Scratch I programmed a simple racing car game, which built on some of the techniques used in the Etch-a-Sketch activity. I created a racing track, a car and a finish line for the game. Through engaging with this activity I learnt sequences to move the car in different directions and that this activity would really engage students in the classroom, especially boys. Scratch is known to be a great educational tool for primary classrooms as this activity provides students with opportunities to learn about angles and directions.
In the third week of interacting with Scratch I programmed a simple ping pong game. This activity was most challenging out of all of the activities so far. I had to draw a round ball and a paddle for the game. Through engaging with this activity I learnt that technology is becoming more and more advanced and children these days would be more knowledgeable in technology than their parents.
Scratch would be a valuable digital technology tool to any classroom, which it fits into the Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies for Year F-2, follow, describe, represent and play with a sequence of steps and decisions needed to solve simple problems; Years 3-4, define simple problems, and follow and describe the algorithms (sequence of steps and decisions) needed to solve them; and Year 5-6, follow, modify and describe simple algorithms involving sequence of steps, decisions, and repetitions that are presented diagrammatically and in plain English.
This resource is recommended and valued by Mary Beth Hertz. In the 'ways of working' for the Technology KLA, students are to communicate features of their designs using 2D and 3D visual representations. This resource would be an excellent tool for creating visual representations, as the students could easily edit their representations when needed. Therefore, the students would be using ICTs to create and communicate within technology contexts.
This site provides a wealth of technology information sheets for pupils and teachers
Brooke Swann's insight:
This design process is highly recommended by Andrea Bulloch through her positive experiences of using it. The World Association of Technology website includes a link that gives detailed information on each stage of the design process and examples regarding many stages involved in the building of a successful folder / project. There are also blank design templates for each stage of a project / folder. Teachers need to understand this process in order for them to develop a unit of work based around design technology.
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