This pdf file is very relevant for use in technology for design. It outlines a brief description of the term design and the steps invovled in applying design thinking to the classroom. It also contains helpful ideas for implementing design. One such idea relates to the content within the Australian curriculum content of 'Use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to safely make designed solutions' (ACARA, 2014) and its elaboration 'using and playing with everyday materials in new ways or re-using discarded materials, for example using discarded materials to design, make and model a constructed environment' (ACARA, 2014). The task/challenge involves designing and building a shelter for the three littel pigs that the wolf can not blow down. Prior to undertaking this task students would investigate the various materials that can be used for constructing shelters and buildings and their purposes. This also lnks to the Australian curriculum content description of 'Explore the characteristics and properties of materials and components that are used to produce designed solutions' (ACARA, 2014) and its elaboration 'experimenting with techniques to combine or alter materials to satisfy a function' (ACARA, 2014).
In the strand of 'Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding' the content description of 'Explore how plants and animals are grown for food, clothing and shelter and how food is selected and prepared for healthy eating' (ACARA, 2014) involves students learning about the various uses for plants.. The information gained from this site contribute significantly to this learning. The follow on design activies and opportunities can be attributed to several areas of the other strand within the curriculum: 'Design and Technologies processes and production skills' (ACARA, 2014). An example would be to ask students to design clothing for a specific purpose from various materials, and explain where the materials came from. This resource also contains additional links that offer further information on the specific topic.
This site not only provides information on the significance of sustainable resources and the importance of environmental issues, but it also contains interactive resources activities and games. These can be utilised for students of any learning stage or year level and can be as simple or as complex as required. This site and its content aligns with the content descriptions in the Australian curriculum of 'Identify how people design and produce familiar products, services and environments and consider sustainability to meet personal and local community needs' (ACARA, 2014), and 'explore needs or opportunities for designing, and thetechnologies needed to realise designed solutions' (ACARA, 2014). Benefits of Recycling (2014) states that 'sustainability is important because the choices we pursue and the actions we make today will affect everything in the future. We need to make sound decisions at present in order to avoid limiting the choices of generations to come' (Benefits of Recycling, 2014).
More information from Benefits of Recycling can be found at:
High quality, high resolution poster backgrounds. Huge selection. Customize online. Order prints, or download and print yourself.
Fiona Thrift's insight:
In keeping with the theme of technology for design in the early years, this site offers many choices for students to select a background to be used in a poster or advertisement. The Australian curriculum states that students
'Identify how people design and produce familiar products, services and environments and consider sustainability to meet personal and local community needs' (ACARA, 2014). An elaboration from this might be to explore the shelters and structures students can see in the school grounds. The design task, would then be to create a poster that details how the structures or shelters could be improved. This concept would be very challenging for early years students, however with scaffolding would be achievable. In support of the significance of such problem solving tasks, Dr. Michele M. Beery, an associate professor and Area Coordinator for Education at Wilmington College, in Wilmington, Ohio notes that problem solving is an 'important area of development that needs to be addressed by those who interact with young children' (Beery, n.d.). More information on Dr Beery's work can be found at:rec.ohiorc.org/orc_documents/orc/recv2/briefs/pdf/0015.pdf
A very brief link between design briefs and utilising them as a resources for technology for design (but not just in the early years).
Fiona Thrift's insight:
Technology for design. How do you interpret design? For me design is a process of creativity. Using technology for design could be as simple or as complex as you make it. When students are presented with a problem or challenge, they need to design a solution. In doing this they might be asked to use certain technologies, such as constructive materials or electronic devices. Whilst many teachers see digital technologies as games etc, they can and should be utilised in problem solving situations. Using a design brief can assist teachers to ensure effective use of technology for design. Given a context, a challenge, resources and guidelines or constraints, the design brief enables easy identification of proposed outcomes for learning.
The idea then is that the challeng that is set asks students to design or create a solution using technology or either their choice or the teacher's.
Transforming media into collaborative spaces with video, voice, and text commenting.
Fiona Thrift's insight:
Within the Australian Curriculum: Technology (2013), students are required to, amongst other things, ‘explore, design, visualise and generate’ using design and technology. VoiceThread is an easy to use, free app that can be accessed from any computer or device that has internet access. This ability is otherwise known as the cloud. Provided the device has Adobe Flash Player, there are no additional system requirements.
Within the app, students are able to explore and collaborate on others’ creations, as well as produce and share their own pieces. This tool is a great way for students of all ages, especially the early years to begin designing projects with technology.
Phil Parette and Craig Blum, faculty from the Illinois State University, in the Special Education Department discuss the benefits of using VoiceThread in the early years on YouTube.
This video was created by Mrs. Harlan's 2nd grade class at Susie T. Fuentes Elementary in Kyle, Texas.
Fiona Thrift's insight:
This YouTube clip is great for introducing students to the content related to the Australian curriculum content description of
'Explore how technologies use forces to create movement in products' (ACARA, 2014). It also provides a platform for a design task challenge such as asking students to design their own video that shows forces of push and pull in everyday objects and items. Throughout history, education has evolved in an attempt to uphold society's ideals and ability to think beyond what is known. In order to accomplish these goals, it has become more imperative that teachers have a knowledge and understanding of the multitude of ICTs available to them to assist in both teaching and learning. An appraciation for incoproration of ICTs into teaching pedagogy will assist in enhancing students' learning by developing highly engaging activities that sustain deeper understanding of content. With this in mind, I especially enjoyed the fact that this video was made by students with the use of video cameras to create their projects. Another article of significant interest written by Utkarsh Lokesh in 2013 can be found at http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/277-role-of-technology-in-21st-century
general vocabulary exercise. 4 exercises ... practising both vocabulary and materials things are made of (paper, plastic, metal, wax, leather, wool, wood,glass)
Fiona Thrift's insight:
This resource contributes to learning in the content description of 'explore the characteristics and properties of materials and components that are used to produce designed solutions' (ACARA, 2014). It assists in teaching students the materials that everyday products are made from. Upon learning this they would then ,
Explore needs or opportunities for designing, and the technologies needed to realise designed solutions' (ACARA, 2014). Students would also have opportunity to design their own products and 'Explore needs or opportunities for designing, and the technologies needed to realise designed solutions' (ACARA, 2014).
This is a great resource for linking the Australian curriculum content descriptions of 'Explore how plants and animals are grown for food, clothing and shelter and how food is selected and prepared for healthy eating' (ACARA, 2014) and 'use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to safely make designed solutions' (ACARA, 2014). The information, teacher resources and activities relate to: food, where it comes from and consumption. Furthermore, it contains links to various age groups and cross-curricular priorities such as Science, HPE and English. In one activity , students are able to participate in games to design a healthy lunchbox then the game gives them a score or rating or tells them what food groups they missed in their design. In this way students are challenged to find design solutions for a real life situation that is relevant to them and the community.
The Virginia Children's Engineering Council website
Fiona Thrift's insight:
Upon researching for more helpful ideas this website offered a variety of already written design briefs that can be utilised in different areas and year levels of the curriculum. One of the challenges of particular interest described students using magnetic forces of push/pull to design an object that can travel a path using magnets and nothing else. This task is linked to the Australian curriculum: Science as well as Design and Technologies. More specifically, the elaborations within Design and Technologies of 'Explore how technologies use forces to create movement in products' (ACARA, 2014), and 'using and playing with everyday materials in new ways...' (ACARA, 2014). The Virginia Children's Engineering Council (VCEC) (2011), states on the site that these types of design briefs 'help children develop a degree of technological capability. Technological capability is defined as the ability to use, manage, assess, and understand technology' (VCEC, 2011).
Upon researching for some ideas that inspire students to use technology for design I found this idea from Primary Resources. It was a powerpoint that I have slightly altered and added to my YouTube uploads to share. The fundamental idea aligns with the Australian curriculum content strands of Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding, and Design and Technologies processes and production skills. In this task and with the use of this resource, students are using either existing or newly gained knowledge and understanding to design their own vehicle using materials found on the classroom collage trolley. As stated by Phil Parette and Craig Blum on their YouTube clip about UDL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Li4HV5zbXY the early years is a setting where we have opportunity to create access for all students to engage in technology for design. Therefore this style of activity fits well into utilising technology for design in the early years.
This app allows students to engage in the creative processes associated with storybooks and literacy. The Australian Curriculum: Technologies encourages students to engage in the processes of 'experimentation, problem-solving, prototyping and evaluation...to realise ideas' (ACARA, 2014). Furthermore, Literacy is one of the seven general capabilities within the curriculum.
Using ZooBurst, teachers are able to ask students to participate in design challenge tasks. These tasks align with design thinking. Design thinking is the process through which students apply creativity to generate insights and solutions to problems.
In an article titled 'Does Assessment Kill Creativity?' (Beghetto, 2008) notes that in the process of preparing students for mandated testing and assessment that is required in classrooms today, teachers tend to overlook the possibilities associated with creativity in assessment tasks (Beghetto, 2008). Zooburst is one such resources that could be utilised to engage students in the creative design process that is recognised by the Australian Curriculum as being of importance to the development of knowledge and understanding as well as the skills required to become active participants in the 21st century.
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