Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms
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Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms
A curated collection dedicated to inspiriation, developing ideas, strategies and resources concerning technology education and learning for Year 5 & 6 students
Curated by Amanda Tu
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Technologies | ACARA

Amanda Tu's insight:

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) provides numerous pieces of detailed information on their website which is available to the public in relation to the development technology curricular.  On this page you will find links to documents detailing to inception and creation of the new technologies curriculum, as well as the current Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies (ACARA, 2013) document.  All of these resources are essential tools for teachers in ensuring that all technology education aligns with curriculum guidelines and expected outcomes.

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ScratchEd

ScratchEd | Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms | Scoop.it
Amanda Tu's insight:

ScracthEd is a website dedicated to providing an online community for educators.  On this site, educators can collaborate by sharing their stories and projects, exchanging resources, asking questions and connecting with likeminded educators.  This site is a highly valuable resource for any teacher who is or may be planning on integrating the Scratch program in their classroom for the purpose of digital technology education. 

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ACER eNews

ACER eNews | Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms | Scoop.it
Amanda Tu's insight:

This is a very interesting read for teachers and education stakeholders alike.  The article details the research findings derived from a survey of teachers and students conducted in 2011 by the Primary Industries Education Foundation.  The findings illustrate potential areas for improvement in teacher professional development with regards to food and fibre production industries in Australia in order to assist their students in developing this knowledge.

 

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What is the Challenge? | FIRST LEGO League

What is the Challenge? | FIRST LEGO League | Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms | Scoop.it
Amanda Tu's insight:

The First Lego League is a robotics and challenge program designed for children aged 9-14 (encompassing year 5 & 6 cohorts).  Through this program, teams of up to 10 children with the assistance of a coach, complete a series of activities in designing and building a robotics game and complete a set challenge. The focus of the challenge is typically connected to topical issues which are impacting societies on a global level such as climate, sustainability, economy etc.  The robotics aspect of the program connects with the curriculum by enabling students to explore and "explain how forces or electrical energy can be used to control movement, sound or light in a product" (ACARA, 2013, p.44).  Holistically, all aspects of the program enable students to effectively demonstrate their design and technologies processes and production skills; specifically aligned with the Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies (ACARA, 2013) content descriptors 6.6, 6.7 and 6.8.  Australia has its own dedicated page for this program http://www.ausfll.org/ however; the American sight is a great place to start your investigation when researching the concept and mission of the First Lego League.   

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Farm to School Resources for Teachers

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Amanda Tu's insight:

Here is yet another fantastic resource for assisting Year 5 & 6 students to "investigate how food preparation techniques can be selected and used to design and produce nutritious food" (ACARA, 2013, p.44).  The focus of 'Farm to School' is on producing sustainable food sources at school for the students, staff and wider community.  With an organic sustainability focus, this project would enable students to consider "environmental impacts alongside nutritional benefits" (ACARA, 2013, p.45) as well as "work practises that demonstrate an understanding of nutrition, wellbeing and environmental considerations" "when designing and producing a food product" (ACARA, 2013, p.45). 

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Dreamfarm - growing ideas into inventions

Dreamfarm - growing ideas into inventions | Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms | Scoop.it
Dreamfarm is where clever ideas grow into useful inventions, the Australian design farm creating unique kitchenware and homewares solutions including Smood, Grindenstein, Scizza, and Gripet.
Amanda Tu's insight:

 

Everyone knows that the best ideas 'grow' in the land of OZ right? Poor attempts at comedy aside, this is a fantastic Brisbane based 'Farm', originally founded in Canberra, dedicated to designing useful technologies that fulfil our everyday needs. These clever gadgets prove that true genius is evident in the simplicity of logic, and could form the inspiration for a problem based technology design project or assessment task.

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GIBBS Quadski Amphibious 4 Wheel Drive Quad

GIBBS Quadski Amphibious 4 Wheel Drive Quad | Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms | Scoop.it
Tweet TweetWe’ve seen prototypes of the GIBBS Quadski for years, but starting next month you will finally be able to own one of these amazing amphibious quads in the United States. The 4WD Gibbs Quadski can hits speeds of up...
Amanda Tu's insight:

This is sure to impress the adrenalin junkies out there!  Perfect example of how new technologies can be created which purposefully incorporate the unique design features of different products.  What two design features could your year 5 and 6 students combine to make a new product?

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Food Packaging Technology ׀ DuPont™ Surlyn® and Mixpack -- "Milk and More"

In collaboration with DuPont, Mixpack is using Surlyn® to advance food packaging technology and help deliver healthy, safe food to remote areas in Mexico. Du...
Amanda Tu's insight:

Isn't it incredible what technology can achieve? Great resource for discussion and reflection in alignment with the Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies (ACARA, 2013).  It is particularly useful for 'considering the impact designed products, services or environments have in relation to sustainability and on local, regional and global communities' (ACARA, 2013, p.43).  Examples of inquiry questions which could evolve and form impetus for investigation from this resource are 'What is the cause and effect of this technological delelopment?' 'What design features make this technology successful?' 'What impact has this technology had on this community?' 'How might this technology impact other communities?'.    

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Kids and Adults Design New Tech Tools

At the University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Lab, Kidsteam pairs students with researchers, who then work together to design new technologies f...
Amanda Tu's insight:

This is a fantastic video highlighting how adults and children can work together to elaborate on the ideas children have in order to develop effective technologies for children. Teachers may also find this video useful in the classroom as a way of modelling how constructive discussions around design ideas can take place, as well as the types of questions you might ask your peers/yourself in order to improve on technological designs

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Chapter-5-Adaptation-reducing-risk-gaining-opportunity | CSIRO

Chapter-5-Adaptation-reducing-risk-gaining-opportunity | CSIRO | Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms | Scoop.it
Amanda Tu's insight:

‘Adaption: reducing risk, gaining opportunity’ is just one chapter from a resource on the CSIRO website entitled ‘Climate Change: Science and Solutions for Australia’.  I came across this chapter whilst sourcing resources and information which could be used as impetus and/or planning for a problem based learning technology project. The concept of the project would be to have students design a piece of technology that will assist humans in adapting to the consequences of climate change.  Amongst many things, this chapter discusses the ways in which humans have had to adapt to climate over the years; highlighting the development of technologies to assist in these adaptations.       

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Scratch - Imagine, Program, Share

Scratch - Imagine, Program, Share | Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms | Scoop.it
Amanda Tu's insight:

Scratch is a simple yet effective tool available for free download aimed at introducing children to the language of programing from a young age.  Scratch would be a valuable digital technology tool to any classroom.  Significant for the Year 5 and 6 classroom is how Scratch could be used to ‘follow, modify and describe simple algorithms involving sequence of steps, decisions, and repetitions that are represented diagrammatically and in plain English’ (ACARA, 2013, p. 73).  I believe students would thoroughly enjoy developing these concepts and skills through their engagement in Scratch.  Once accustom to the program, students could experiment with their designs, increasing the freedom and flexibility applied to their creations. For further information regarding my own engagment in the program please refer to my blog which details these experiences across four reflections https://eportfolio.usq.edu.au/view/view.php?id=59217

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Primary Industries Education Foundation

Primary Industries Education Foundation's is a preferred provider of credible, relevant and factual information on all matters relating to agriculture, fisheries and forestry for Australia's teachers, students and the community...
Amanda Tu's insight:

With such a strong focus on food and fibre production and technologies across the Year 5 & 6 Band level descriptions in the Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies (ACARA, 2013), it would be amiss to not include information regarding Australian Primary industries.  The Primary Industries Education Foundation (PIEF) focuses on providing Australian teachers with credible and current information to use in schools.  With research illustrating some gaps in teacher and student knowledge in this area, this website provides a plethora of information useful in primary contexts.  This information would provide necessary background knowledge and research relating to food and fibre industries in which students' technology projects may be focussed.       

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Middle-school students collaborate on global engineering project

Middle-school students collaborate on global engineering project | Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms | Scoop.it
Eighth-grade students at Brookwood School in Manchester, Mass., are participating along with students from Brazil, Africa and India in the Global Efficient Cook
Amanda Tu's insight:

 

Across the Year 5 & 6 Band Level Description in the Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies (ACARA, 2013) students are encouraged to work collaboratively with others to devise design solutions which are applicable in local, national and global contexts.  With a wealth of digital technology at our disposal these days, connecting with global communities is far more efficient than the process of 'pen pals'; reminiscent of my own formative education.  Using safe blogging systems such as EduBlogs or live Skype and Twitter sessions, students can benefit from both synchronous and asynchronous engagement with people living in communities other than their own.  In this way, students would have opportunities to speak directly to people who live in the contexts in which they may be designing for; providing authenticity and real audiences for their projects.

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Project Avenue

Project Avenue | Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms | Scoop.it
The FIRST® LEGO® League competition features a research project presentation, and this channel contains videos about that portion of the challenge. These vid...
Amanda Tu's insight:

This is a collection of YouTube videos from the First Lego League website.  These videos show firsthand accounts of the various steps middle schoolers took in order to plan, manage, produce and reflect on their design challenges.  These videos are a 'must view' if planning on undertaking a task such as the First Lego League.  Furthermore, these particular videos focus on a project involving the development of a sustainable food source and production; adding further value to the resource in Year 5 & 6 contexts in connection with technology curriculum.

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LANDFILL HARMONIC: Inspiring dreams one note at a time!

A heartfelt & moving story of how instruments made from recycled trash bring hope to children whose future is otherwise spiritless.
Amanda Tu's insight:

Such an inspiring story!  This is not just a story about recycling materials.  It's a story about how we can design and construct technologies from almost any material which can transform and repurpose our lives.  I believe year 5 and 6 students would gain a lot from this project from both a social justice and technology perspective.

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Digital Technologies Blog - ePortfolio

Amanda Tu's insight:

A personal reflection on my introduction to the Scratch program and applicability in the year 5 and 6 classrooms.

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What Is Food Science & Technology? - IFT.org

Food science draws from many disciplines such as biology, chemical engineering, and biochemistry in an attempt to better understand food processes and ultimately improve food products for the general public.
Amanda Tu's insight:

This website effectively unpacks the terms Food Science and Food Technology for the reader in such a way that it could be easily transferred into the classroom.  Teachers and students would also benefit from the imbedded video which further explores the roles of food technologists and scientists.  The resource is both informative and entertaining - a recipe for success with middle school students.

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Web 2.0 teaching tools to enhance education and learning — Edjudo

A comprehensive list of the best web 2.0 tools and links, sorted via category, for teaching and learning with technology.
Amanda Tu's insight:

There is a plethora of information online when searching for practical ideas, tips and strategies about using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom.  I often find myself getting bogged down in lengthy reviews about tools, and as a result, find myself working with the few favourites I have mastered over the years.  This page however is exceptionally user friendly; organising the Web 2.0 teaching tools into distinct categories.  From there you are taken to another user friendly list which, (quite conveniently), takes you directly to any of the tools you are interested in via a hyperlink.  Fantastic resource when searching for tools which enable students to design and create visual presentations of their ideas using ICT. 

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Thomas Suarez: A 12-year-old app developer

Most 12-year-olds love playing videogames -- Thomas Suarez taught himself how to create them. After developing iPhone apps like "Bustin Jeiber," a whack-a-mo...
Amanda Tu's insight:

I love this video!  It's both interesting and entertaining, and I believe year 5 and 6 students would think so also.  Teachers could use this clip in a number of ways, including but not limited to, instilling a belief in young technicians that age is no barrier when developing technology. 

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Teachers | CSIRO

Teachers | CSIRO | Enriching Technology Education in Year 5 & 6 Classrooms | Scoop.it
CSIRO's teacher resources provide inspiration for teachers and new ideas for the classroom. Our programs include teacher workshops, classroom activities and resource materials.
Amanda Tu's insight:

 

The CSIRO's teacher resource is a fantastic collection of information, tools and activity ideas which will ignite student's curiosity. This user friendly site provides a plethora of opportunities for teachers to authentically integrate science and technology learning by investigating concepts such as climate change and sustainability and their associated technologies.  This site provides resources and/or background information which can be directly used or adapted to address a number of the Years 5 & 6 Design and Technologies content descriptions.

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