Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre
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School Composting Tips – Green Action Centre

School Composting Tips – Green Action Centre | Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre | Scoop.it

This site is produced by Green Action Centre and is full of ideas and tips for schools and teachers if they were to make their own compost heap at school.

Lyall McDonald's insight:

This page gives tips on how to set up a class compost heap. There are two options as to what a teacher could do. They could choose to share the plans with their students and jointly construct the compost heap straight away; or, they could set a design brief challenge using the tips as a guideline for students. Each student would not have to create a full size compost heap each (they could at home or bring in pictures of a compost heap), they would design and build a model compost heap from which the class and teacher would analyse and vote on their favourite. Once their favourite design was selected, the class could jointly construct the compost heap.

 

The Australian curriculum makes it clear that the characteristics of soil and soils effect on plant growth are important. The class project is also displaying a sustainable way to recycle appropriate waste that is achievable by all Australian households. Students would learn that it is not always about the new inventions that can lead us to a sustainable future but large scale implementation of old ideas can also lead to positive results. The compost created could then be used to grow plants and the testing of different irrigation methods.

 

The aims of the design technologies curriculum state that students should develop confidence as critical users of technologies and designers and producers of designed solutions. Other aims such as generating designed solutions for sustainable futures and using a range of tools and materials would also be achieved by students completing a design brief centred on compost.     

 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Yrs 7-8 http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/design-and-technologies/Curriculum/F-10?layout=3&y=7-8&s=DEPPS&s=DEKU&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=6&c=7&p=1&p=2&p=3%C2%A0&nbsp

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Rationale/Aims http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/rationale-aims/design-and-technologies

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WORM farm

WORM farm | Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre | Scoop.it
Have you ever made a worm farm? This one is so easy to make and so much fun to watch.
Lyall McDonald's insight:

Having a class worm farm would be very beneficial for students to see the effects of standard soil compares to soil processed by worms when growing plants. The example on the website would be great for each student to do or even a suggestion for homework. However, if the teacher wanted enough soil for use in an experiment you would need a bigger class worm farm. This would also be a great activity for all students because many of them would be unaware of the work that worms do. Such an activity could be combined with science lessons about ‘the science’ of worms.

 

The Australian curriculum values the contribution of soil to the plant growth process. What could be studied by students is whether soil processed by worms or soil with artificial fertiliser grows better plants. Conducting this activity would link with another technology descriptor, that of investigating natural and chemical growth in plants.

 

With students new found knowledge of worms and chemicals they could start a compost heap which would have them evaluating processes and transferring knowledge and skills to a new situation. This is an aim of the curriculum.

 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Yrs 7-8 http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/design-and-technologies/Curriculum/F-10?layout=3&y=7-8&s=DEPPS&s=DEKU&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=6&c=7&p=1&p=2&p=3%C2%A0&nbsp

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Rationale/Aims http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/rationale-aims/design-and-technologies

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Book - The Farmer Changes His Ways

Book - The Farmer Changes His Ways | Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre | Scoop.it

The farmer in this story ploughs up his land, applies too much fertiliser to his crops and overworks the soil. He is not only ruining the environment, but he is ruining his chance of long term production from his farm. After realising what he was doing, he read up on sustainable farming. He soon changes his way…find out how. Author Ethan Campbell, Narrabri West Public School, New South Wales …

Lyall McDonald's insight:

This book is found on a site called http://www.envirostories.com.au/ and was created by a student. The program on the site explores factual information and then leads children to writing narratives that involve their new found knowledge. The site is then a great place to share their story which can be read online or downloaded. This particular book is about a farmer who slowly becomes sustainable in his farming practices. The student writes about how he changed his ploughing and irrigation methods. This is a great activity for a class to do because it integrates the English and design technology curriculums together. It could be done as a dual purpose assessment by assessing their knowledge of a unit on writing narratives and comparing land and water management methods.

 

The Australian curriculum says that students need to compare land and water practices in food and fibre production with other cultures (particularly Asian). To incorporate knowledge of other cultures students could refer to someone else in their story that might give a suggestion that will help with a farmer’s problem. Using stories to explore knowledge could also be used with another design technology descriptor; investigating different animal feeding strategies such as grazing and supplementary feeding and their effects on product quality. Students are more likely to engage with an assessment task that requires they write a story and draw pictures than a straight information report on what they have learnt.

 

Reflecting personally, I remember when I was in year 7, we did a research assignment on an animal of our choosing and then we had to put that animal into a story and make a book, complete with our own drawings. We then got to read our books to the year 1’s. This was a great learning experience that I still remember today and therefore the concept behind integrating stories with other class topics is recommended.

 

When students put themselves in someone else’s shoes, such as a farmer, they experience what some of their problems may be. These experiences put students in good stead to design products that could authentically contribute to society. This is an aim of the design technology curriculum.   

 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Yrs 7-8 http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/design-and-technologies/Curriculum/F-10?layout=3&y=7-8&s=DEPPS&s=DEKU&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=6&c=7&p=1&p=2&p=3%C2%A0&nbsp

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Rationale/Aims http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/rationale-aims/design-and-technologies

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7 Basics to Create a Good Design Brief

7 Basics to Create a Good Design Brief | Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre | Scoop.it

The site displays one way to set out a design brief. It detailed the elements that should make up a design brief.

Lyall McDonald's insight:

This resource does not directly relate to the food and fibre curriculum strand. However, I did realise I referred to a design brief in one of my previous scoops and had not explained what it was. I went looking to find an appropriate video to explain it but I couldn’t find one that matched my interests but I did find this site. If you are looking at this site as a guide remember to ‘superimpose’ the classroom context onto the information instead of the corporate context. Therefore, the designers become the students, the audience is who the students are targeting the design at etc.  

 

I would like to use the opportunity to discuss design briefs as I know them and how best to set out a design brief for students. First, a challenge needs to be set that involves the objectives of the brief and is within the context of a real world situation. Secondly, the parameter or constraints of the brief need to be explained; these include (dependent on brief) the size, weight, costing, time allowed etc. Thirdly, a list of the materials available should be provided (to help the teacher as well as the students). Finally, the evaluation criteria should be displayed so the students know what they will be marked against. Remembering, this is just another method, multiple different ways will work. 

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Curriculum Resources - Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation - Australian Curriculum Resources, Curriculum

Curriculum Resources - Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation - Australian Curriculum Resources, Curriculum | Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre | Scoop.it
The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation works with teachers, students and education departments to develop an extensive range of curriculum resources which highlight the rich learning spaces of the kitchen, garden and classroom.
Lyall McDonald's insight:

The resource is useful for teachers to gain ideas about making units about the kitchen and garden. To gain valuable teacher resources, registration is required but from a quick browse of the curriculum matrix available on the site, most subject areas are covered including technology. The site is very user friendly and the resources have received much positive feedback from teachers and schools. The program appears to be now expanding to South Australia.

 

The Australian Curriculum states that students need to investigate plant growth both naturally and with the use of herbicides. Furthermore, it states that the physical and chemical characteristics of soil need to be described and analysed as to what effect it has on plant growth. The resources and units in the kitchen garden program may not explicitly teach those content descriptors but they would greatly assist in setting up an environment that analysis of soils and use of chemicals could be viable. It would be a great undertaking to try to tackle this type of unit without external guidance for setting up the core features.  

 

A unit that consists of a garden could also be exploited to set a design brief task for students where they have to design and make model compost heaps followed by a vote as to which design will be made as a full scale model for their garden. Whilst participating in the design brief, students would be achieving aims of the design technology curriculum which include manipulating a range of materials, tools and equipment competently and safely. Additionally, they would have to generate design ideas and communicate them to their peers and teacher, perhaps the whole school.

 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Yrs 7-8 http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/design-and-technologies/Curriculum/F-10?layout=3&y=7-8&s=DEPPS&s=DEKU&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=6&c=7&p=1&p=2&p=3%C2%A0&nbsp

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Rationale/Aims http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/rationale-aims/design-and-technologies

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Our Victorian Food and Fibre Story - YouTube

This video was produced by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries for the purpose of making the public aware of food and fibre needs and the availability of future jobs.

Lyall McDonald's insight:

Although this video is primarily advertising the Victorian food and fibre industry, it would make an excellent introductory tool to the topic of food and fibre in the Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies strand.  Firstly, this is because the video provides points out what is food and fibre and may remove some misconceptions. For example, the mention of "the table it sits on' will expand the thinking of students to question the world around them to see which products come from which industries.

 

Secondly, the video makes reference to future needs in the food and fibre industry such as the predicted 70% increase in demand  for food by 2050. This relates to the curriculum because students need to know what is a preferred future and how they can achieve it. Sustainable is also a key element here as with increased demand will come the need for increased efficiency. The curriculum asks students to explore how to increase food production, keep costs low, compare organic and chemically enhanced growth, to analyse the effectiveness of irrigation and livestock feeding strategies. The video does not teach those topics (students need to analyse for themselves with scaffolding from teachers) but it provides a wonderful overview of the entire topic and even relates Australia to the international market which is also a requirement of the design and technologies strand.

 

The video actually models the design technology process to some extent, the DPI have identified a need (which will require new technology) , have make a goal as to what they will need to achieve by a given time and have planned for what type of specialists they will need in the field to make the goals a reality. Of course, a teacher could point out to students that those specialists could be them. 

 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Years 7-8 http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/design-and-technologies/Curriculum/F-10?layout=3&y=7-8&s=DEPPS&s=DEKU&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=6&c=7&p=1&p=2&p=3  

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Livestock Production | Meat & Livestock Australia

Livestock Production | Meat & Livestock Australia | Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre | Scoop.it
MLA is involved in a broad range of research and development (R&D) activities on-farm to provide practical information for Australian red meat and livestock producers.
Lyall McDonald's insight:

A couple of scoops ago I curated a topic on new grass technology. I suggested that students could go on after that and research pasture and feeding techniques currently used by farmers. The livestock production site would be a great place for students to go to research the pasture and feeding techniques. This site would be appropriate for Australian students because it is an Australian site. Therefore, it will be discussing problems and success of Australian livestock feeding techniques. Furthermore, after researching these techniques, students attempt to generate some novel ideas in the area of animal feeding strategies. To begin with, ideas would have to be ethical and sustainable, while the efficiency could be worked out in due course.  

 

The Australian curriculum (as mentioned previously) focuses on animal feeding strategies and their effect on the final product. The MSA site also provides information on quality product and what is required to achieve a quality product. Concerning students, if they were to generate noel ideas then that would also fulfil requirements of the curriculum and aims in that they are considering ethical issues surrounding animals and that they are generating innovative solutions for sustainable futures.

 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Yrs 7-8 http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/design-and-technologies/Curriculum/F-10?layout=3&y=7-8&s=DEPPS&s=DEKU&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=6&c=7&p=1&p=2&p=3%C2%A0&nbsp

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Rationale/Aims http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/rationale-aims/design-and-technologies

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New Grass Technology

New Grass Technology | Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre | Scoop.it

This report was posted in Farmers Weekly and is about new grass growing technology that can be grown in seven days and be ready for animal consumption.

Lyall McDonald's insight:

In the classroom, it would be great to read this article with students during a food and fibre unit. With teacher assistance, the class could break down the article and discuss how the new grass might affect the feeding of livestock all year round. The teacher could then lead a discussion on the actual technology and discuss if it could work in Australia and what effect this might have on Australian livestock farmers. Would it be viable, could it be reproduced on a large scale and is it cost efficient? Could the technology be adapted to suit the needs of Australian farmers?

 

This type of technology could be a way to increase food for livestock and in turn increase food production for people. The Australian curriculum states that students should be looking at ways to do this but analysing technology to make sure it is ethical and sustainable. This article could be a starting point for research into different methods of feeding stock animals and each methods effect on the quality of product. This may lead students into researching free-range or cage fed animals and the use of genetic enhancements to speed up the growth of animals. This is yet another aspect of the food and fibre curriculum where students have to investigate animal growth with and without chemical treatments.

 

An aim of the design technologies curriculum is for students to investigate and critique solutions for sustainable futures which they are achieving whilst studying this article.

 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Yrs 7-8 http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/design-and-technologies/Curriculum/F-10?layout=3&y=7-8&s=DEPPS&s=DEKU&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=6&c=7&p=1&p=2&p=3%C2%A0&nbsp

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Rationale/Aims http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/rationale-aims/design-and-technologies

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Design Process

Design Process | Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre | Scoop.it

Commented on and pinned by Rebecca Brit: Design briefs promote thinking and creativity which are characteristics which can be developed through educational experiences. There is no set format of a design brief, however they should include a clear statement of the design task and include parameters and conditions to allow ample room for a variety of solutions to a problem. This allows the student to understand the task and make decisions and identify solutions. 

Lyall McDonald's insight:

This resource was discovered by Rebecca Brit and in her comment (above), she described it a one way to consider a design brief. In my previous scoop I talked about design briefs and I thought that another opinion should be added to the mix. However, I believe that this design process is not helpful in developing a design brief but in responding to a design brief. Depending on the age level and class ability, this sheet could be handed out to students as a tool to help them respond. If this was the case then make sure it matches up with the design brief the teacher has already given them. Try not to confuse students and handing out another way to do it may only be confusing.    

 

I promise that I will refocus back to the food and fibre content descriptors but I wanted to expand a little on a key instructional and assessment tool for all aspects of design technologies. 

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Farm to School Resources for Teachers - Georgia Organics

Farm to School Resources for Teachers - Georgia Organics | Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre | Scoop.it
Farm to School connects schools (K-12) and local farms by serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing food, farm, and nutrition education, and supporting local, family farmers. There are over 2,000 farm to school programs nationwide. Farm to school activities can include featuring fresh, local food in school meals, hands-on cooking and taste testing, …
Lyall McDonald's insight:

Although this site is American and talks about their curriculum, the teacher resources are just as relevant in the Australian classroom. The unit at http://www.weedcenter.org/education/docs/Science_Scope_Article[1].pdf (link from Georgia Organics) could be great for students to examine the makeup of a plant before they engage in growing plants themselves as in the kitchen garden program. It even gives cards for a game to play with students that will show what plants survive under certain conditions. The site emphasises the importance of students going on excursions to farms and this is something that should happen in all Australian classes. 

 

The Australian curriculum asks that students know about plant growth under differing conditions and what natural or man made products would make a difference. The resources available from the site make this task achievable. It would be easy to jump straight into a unit of growing and observing plants (with different variables) without first preparing the students for the task. Students need to know how and why plants grow, what affects them and how they react to adversity if they are to speculate on why a plant is not growing or has died. Another unit on the site details about the effects of bugs on livestock farmers. This also ties in with the Australian curriculum as it asks students to investigate effects on product quality such as wool or tenderness of meat.

 

Finally, I large part the teaching resources on the site are geared at appreciating the role of the farmer in society as an innovative thinker. An aim of the curriculum is to understand that different people have different roles in society concerning design technologies.

 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Yrs 7-8 http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/design-and-technologies/Curriculum/F-10?layout=3&y=7-8&s=DEPPS&s=DEKU&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=6&c=7&p=1&p=2&p=3%C2%A0&nbsp

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Rationale/Aims http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/rationale-aims/design-and-technologies

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Farming First visualise food security issues through to 2030

Farming First visualise food security issues through to 2030 | Design and Technology in the Classroom: Food and Fibre | Scoop.it

This resource was produced by David Tribe and contains four visuals that inform readers about predicted food needs and consequences. 

Lyall McDonald's insight:

The resource would be useful in the classroom because it is a visual display using mostly graphs that could convey the same message that a written report does whilst maintaining student engagement. The resource could be used a research starting point because the fourth visual suggests some ways in which technology will be helpful in the future concerning food and fibre. Additionally, a lesson using this resource could become an integrated maths and digital technologies lesson as the class discusses representation and the validity of data.

 

The resource links in with the Australian curriculum as it states students should recognise the need to increase food production using cost efficient ethical and sustainable production techniques. Furthermore, the third graph displays import and export information suggesting a rise in importers and a drop in exporters. This ties in with the curriculum as students should recognise the importance of food security for Australia and other countries. A class discussion could be had concerning the import and export prices in Australia and around the world if developing nations continue import drastic amounts of food from developed nations.

 

Finally, the resource is detailing information that is an aim of the design technologies curriculum in which it is important to investigate sustainable futures. If the class was to research the suggested technologies in food and fibre and critique and suggest improvements whilst remaining ethically motivated then they would be fulfilling the entire aim.    

 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Yr-7-8 http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/design-and-technologies/Curriculum/F-10?layout=3&y=7-8&s=DEPPS&s=DEKU&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=6&c=7&p=1&p=2&p=3%C2%A0&nbsp 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Rationale and Aims http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/rationale-aims/design-and-technologies 

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Technology Design Process - YouTube

This video will introduce you to the Technology Design Process; a process which virtually all forms of technology undergo when being developed. A video from YouTube by user 'SuperJBarks'.

Lyall McDonald's insight:

This video could be very helpful at the very beginning of studying design technology. It addresses many misconceptions about technology. Technology is often seen as something that is new right now but everything that has been developed was once new so it is also technology. It was created to fulfill a need. This is a discussion a teacher could have with students but a video should hold their attention for much longer. Teachers and students alike will both be new to the topic when the Australian curriculum rolls out the technology strand officially in coming year. Therefore, this video will not only clarify the topic for students but also for teachers.

 

The framework spoken of in the video for developing technology may vary slightly but the guiding principles will be the same. I like this framework because instead of analyse as the concluding step it has improve. An analysis can be carried out on a creation that may point out where it went wrong or it might have gone really well and you are happy with it. But, with improve, you have to analyse and then the additional step is to make it better, to learn for the mistakes or to push your limits to make a success even more successful.

 

The Australian curriculum design and technologies strands process and production skills makes clear that students of the future will have to continually generate, develop, test and communicate new ideas. It is almost an overused statement, but technology is advancing very quickly in this age and students need to learn to adapt and change the way they think each and every day. Students will need to improve not just analyse every day. 

 

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies Years 7-8 http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/design-and-technologies/Curriculum/F-10?layout=3&y=7-8&s=DEPPS&s=DEKU&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=6&c=7&p=1&p=2&p=3 

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