Design and Technology Enter the Classroom
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Scooped by Katherine Reed!

About the author

About the author | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |

Hi my name is Katie Reed and I am a fourth year education student, majoring in Primary Education in mid 2014.


Here I am pictured with my husband and young family. 

Katherine Reed's insight:



This curation is based on Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding strand, focusing specifically on Technologies and Society from the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2014).  I have been researching ways in which students can learn about the role people have in design and technologies, and what competing considerations and choices they come across when designing products and services, specifically; social, ethical and environmental choices.  With the focus on the Australian Curriculum, I have based a lot of research into finding activities suited for Australian classrooms, however, I have also endeavoured to provide students with a global scope of design and technologies to broaden their knowledge and understanding of these areas.  


You will locate a range of activities, resources, classroom lesson plans and factual information that will benefit any primary educator looking to explore technology with their students.







Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), (2014). Design and Technologies.  Retrieved from


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Future Sparks

Future Sparks | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
Future Sparks is a fun and empowering look at climate and a future with clean energy, aimed at 8 to 13 year olds.
Katherine Reed's insight:

Future Sparks is a fantastic site for teachers and students to explore who are looking into technology, clean energy and sustainability.  There are several links to 'future technology' creations that are such to spark some interesting conversation!  For example: converting animal waste to fuel cars, or using grass clippings to create solar cells.  In addition to this, there are hundreds of videos that Australian students have uploaded to ahre the BIG ideas on creating a sustainable energy future.  For the teachers, there is fun resources, great use of ICTs and lesson plans from the CSIRO that link to the Australian Curriculum.  


Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 4.1, 6.1, 8.1 and 8.2


Katherine Reed's comment, April 26, 2014 1:53 AM
No worries Ellie - hope you find the information useful for your own purposes and curation. Kind regards, Katie
Rescooped by Katherine Reed from Creating Preferred Futures through Technology, Sustainability and Education.!

A Design Challenge to Students: Solve a Real-World Problem! | MindShift

A Design Challenge to Students: Solve a Real-World Problem! | MindShift | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
Creating a safe recreation space for teens; protoyping a recyclable lunch tray; setting up a water delivery system to guard against urban fires; building a pu

Via Rebecca White
Katherine Reed's insight:

This is the background information for competitions that are coordinated between designers and educators to promote students thinking about how to solve real world problems using design.  There are links provided to sample problems and challenges suited for Prep to Year 4 levels as well as more in depth concepts for high school students, such as designing jobs for 2050.  Interesting read and plenty of information to be explored. 

Andrew Aker's curator insight, August 14, 2013 9:27 AM

EVERY subject should be taught with REAL WORLD problem solving, just like we did in the stone-age!    

Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, August 14, 2013 11:02 AM

Some good suggestions provided in a broad way.

Marnie McGillivray's curator insight, March 23, 2014 8:33 PM

I have rescooped this resource from @Rebecca White as it is a great resource for teaching the Design and technology strand and incorporates sustainability. The website focuses on design thinking, 21st century learning skills, design learning research, curriculum frameworks, project based learning and engaging today’s students. It links with the Australian Curriculum for technology including design technology as it is build student computational thinking by getting them to create and evaluate projects which aims towards creating preferred futures.

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Educators - James Dyson Foundation

Educators - James Dyson Foundation | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
Katherine Reed's insight:

The James Dyson Foundation is a fantastic site that recognises and awards technologies and design as well as provides educators and students with ideas and resources to bring design and engineering to the classroom.  James Dyson, the brains behind the first bagless cyclonic vacuum cleaner, discusses in videos the process of design and gives insight into his own journey, struggles and considerations when he was developing the famous Dyson vacuum cleaner.  These are great educational tools to promote students thinking about how people design and ultimately produce new technologies. 

For educators, there are opportunities to order and 'Ideas Box' which is complete with lesson plans, activities and posters for the classroom.  

There is also a list of Impromptu STEM Challenges, which are downloadable PDF files with different challenges.  For example, Challenge 7 students are to create a colourful underwater volcano, showing how heat rises and how this scientific knowledge led to the product design of the Hot Air Balloon. 

There are useful resources and lesson ideas across all areas of the primary curriculum to align with the Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding areas 2.1, 4.1, 6.1 and 8.1. 

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Practical Action - technology challenging poverty | Practical Action

Practical Action - technology challenging poverty | Practical Action | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
Practical Action is an international development charity. We use sustainable technology to challenge poverty, working with poor women and men around the world.
Katherine Reed's insight:

Practical Action works with 40 developing countries across the world to look at how technology can be used to make a positive change in poverty stricken living environments.   There is a fantastic range of information, resources and genuine ways in which individuals can help these countries.  You will also find unit and lesson plan suggestions, such as the “Beat the flood Challenge” where students are to design flood resistant homes that devastate communities.  These design challenges have all the necessary information for teachers and students with links to guide learning, work sheets, activities, posters and certificates – all the essentials for an authentic challenge.  Another feature of this site is to hear from those working in the design and technology fields and their personal stories on the impact their jobs have had on these communities.  

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kids think design | product design

kids think design | product design | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
Objects we use everyday can be both fun and useful with the power of design. Students are invited to submit their own product design projects.
Katherine Reed's insight:

Kids Think Design is a website that provides a fantastic overview of the world of design.  It explores a range of categories of design, including: fashion, graphic, product and environment.  Each category takes students on a virtual tour of the practicalities of design in its respective area, providing real life examples of how different designs have eventuated to the society as well as background information on how designers came to success in their respective areas.  Young budding designers are encouraged on how to “think” like a designer, posing questions to get their minds thinking about what they could create.  Some categories offer simple step-by-step DIY instructions on how to design your own creation (online or with concrete products) which would be suitable for students to perform as a class, small group or individual task.  

Young people are also encouraged to create their own designs, submit and share their designs to the website and have the opportunity for their design to feature online to a worldwide audience through their virtual studio.


This site is more suited to the older age brackets, from approximately 9+ years old.  

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 6.1, 8.1 and 8.2.  


NOTE:  Although some activities would be beyond the reach for younger ages, students in Prep-Year 4 could be encouraged to create basic designs based on the steps provided on this site.


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How to Apply Design Thinking in Class, Step By Step

How to Apply Design Thinking in Class, Step By Step | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
For educators ready to try the idea of design thinking, you'll be glad to know it does not require extensive transformation of your classroom. That said, it can be a transformative experience for all involved. Here, we try to answer your questions about the different integrating components of a design learning experience into familiar, pre-existing scenarios that play out in every school.
Katherine Reed's insight:

Anne Stevens' article in Mind Shift, discusses how to create a "Space of possibility" within the classroom, where students are the producers of the product and the teacher is the facilitator.  Giving practical advice, Stevens outlines how to address curriculum alignment, what types of simple materials can be used, time and space restrictions and how to promote student-centered learning.  Stevens also suggests to discuss the roles of different occupations involving design and their contribution to the world.  Teachers looking to implement technology and design into their classroom, but unsure of 'how' or 'where' to start would benefit from the advice and suggested links within the article to introduce the designing process.  


Australian Curriculum - Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding: 2.1, 4.1, 6.1 and 8.1.

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Recycled flipflops turned into playful animal toys

Recycled flipflops turned into playful animal toys | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
Thousands of abandoned flipflops turn up on African shores--Ocean Sole recycles them into something good.
Katherine Reed's insight:

How could your students re-use materials to design new products? This article looks at how thongs that were causing environmental damage on the shores of Africa were used to create vibrant sculptures.  Even better, this use of recycled goods is creating business and employment opportunities for locals in struggling economic environments.  Have your students be inspired by looking at their own backyard and opportunities for design and technology! 


The website Treehugger, which this article was retrieved from provides a comprehensive, up-to-date stream of innovative technology that has been based on sustainability in its product design.  The range of products come from all corners of the world, providing insight into what different countries are developing in regards to design technology and sustainability.  As such, the range of products may serve as inspiration for a class or individual project where young designers in the classroom create their own sustainable product.  


Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 2.1, 4.1, 6.1 and 8.2.  

Teresa Morgan's comment, April 8, 2014 3:56 AM
Hi Katie. Here is what I have written on my pearltree.
Katherine Reed's comment, April 26, 2014 1:52 AM
Hi Teresa, thank you for your reply. I love the ideas presented in this site. I'm actually engaging with students at the moment on prac, getting them to design a lunchbox containers from recycled goods! They are loving designing and experimenting. Thanks again, Katie
Melissa Bufalino's comment, April 30, 2014 7:29 AM
This is so great. Recycling at it's best!
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EekoWorld | PBS KIDS GO!

EekoWorld invites children to explore, experiment, and collaborate as they learn about conservation, the environment and the important role they play in taking care of the earth
Katherine Reed's insight:

EekoWorld is fantastic for the lower levels of primary school with loads of interactive videos using animation and real life visuals, music and activities suited to the younger students.  There are distinct focus areas that have several animations providing factual information, these include; the Environment, Recycling, Air & Water, Plants & Animals and The Future.  For example, The future looks are inventions and how inventions may affect the environment and ourselves.  

In addition to this there is an 'EcoHouse' where students are asked to navigate their way around daily activities and answer a series of questions based on eco-friendly choices.  For example: You are going shopping, do you chose a plastic bag or fabric grocery bag? 


Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 2.1, 4.1.

Ellie Ruby-Rose Rasmussen's curator insight, April 8, 2014 5:28 AM

 An interactive and informative website designed for primary school aged students to explore, experiment and collaborate as they acquire knowledge and understanding around technologies and sustainabillity. This will no doubt serve as a valuable resource for students and teachers, when exploring units based on conservation, the environment and sustainability.


Original source can be found at:


Relevance to the Australian Curriculum Technologies, Knowledge and Understanding and Processes and Production Skills:

- Identify, use and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (ACTDIK001)

- Work with others to create and organise ideas and information using information systems, and share these with known people in safe online environments (ACTDIP006)

- Work with others to plan the creation and communication of ideas and information safely, applying agreed ethical and social protocols (ACTDIP013)

-Explain how developed solutions and existing information systems are sustainable and meet local community needs, considering opportunities and consequences for future applications (ACTDIP021)

Kelly Frintzilas's comment, April 26, 2014 9:28 PM
This is a great resource Katie. Students would love this resource. It could easily be used to address not only the Australian Curriculum: Technologies but Sustainability as a cross-curriculum priority.
Natalie Todd's comment, April 27, 2014 1:22 AM
Thank you Katie for sharing this. I could also see this working in various year levels in the primary sector in the science stand of the curriculum. One I definitely will be referring back to whilst on Prac next month.
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A Learning Simulation For Science & Social Studies: Plan It Green -

A Learning Simulation For Science & Social Studies: Plan It Green - | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
We all know how much emphasis is being placed on green energy strategies these days. The folks over National Geographic recently teamed up with GE…

Via Keren Schnaider
Katherine Reed's insight:

In this interactive online game, students manage time and resources to create their own virtual city.  Students have to consider eco-friendly technologies and research eco initiatives that will aide in the productivity and viability of their "Green City".  Students can do this individually or collaboratively, or perhaps it could be done as an ongoing whole class learning experience - planning, discussing and making decisions together.  A great new take on the traditional Sims game.  


Australian Curriculum design and technologies knowledge and understanding 2.1, 4.1 (with assistance from teachers and/or supervising adult) , 6.1, 8.1, 8.2 (able to be done independently).

Corinne Owen's comment, April 26, 2014 9:17 AM
Great scoop Katie, I love this idea. Lots of great learning to be had here
Kelly Frintzilas's comment, April 26, 2014 9:29 PM
Excellent Scoop Katie. This looks like a lot of fun.
Sam Burden's curator insight, June 16, 2014 9:22 AM

This online teaching resource reflects a video game known as SimCity, but Plan It Green provides opportunities for participants to construct their own virtual city with creative control. Students can log in via there google accounts to come face-to-face with a very easy tutorial to guide users through the set-up. The game encourages learners to persist via an internal reward system, to reach certain levels of the game. The game can be a collaborative experience as you create and communicate with other communities. This game was developed to have an eco-friendly theme, promoting a sustainable lifestyle, asking students to Plan It Green, leading to valuable educational lessons about energy conservation and the use of alternative solutions which is environmentally friendly.

The game addresses social issues affecting our world, linking to real world issues, making learning relevant to the learner. I would use this game as a tool in my classroom as it is a way students can be facilitators of their own learning, identifying problems and creating solutions in a digital format but they can also be applied in a real world context, reaffirming technology and sustainability curriculum outcomes.

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Papyrus Australia | Converting Banana Palm into Renewable Fibre

Papyrus Australia | Converting Banana Palm into Renewable Fibre | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
Papyrus Australia Ltd is the developer of a world-first technology that converts the waste trunk of the banana palm into alternatives to forest
wood products to be used in the paper, packaging, furniture, building, construction and other industries.
Katherine Reed's insight:

This site enables educators and students to comprehensively explore the production and use of a technological advancement that was created, sourced and produced in Australia.  Using world first technology, Papyrus Australia looks in depth at the processes involved with the technology to convert the waste of banana palms into everyday items, including the students very own desks!  The visual flow charts give great perspective of the differences between the Papyrus product and other comparable products - showcasing the superior design in regards to affordability, sustainability, renewable energy and the abundant supply of these 'waste' products.  

This site would be useful for the upper primary year levels to investigate in depth a particular product and how this product has evolved locally, regionally and now internationally.     

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 8.1 and 8.2

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STEP - Starting with STEP!

STEP - Starting with STEP! | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
Katherine Reed's insight:

STEP contains short activities with relevant teacher guides, that focus on sustainability and technology products.  Several activities call for students to apply critical and creative thinking as they consider the ethical, social and environmental impacts in regards to technology.  The site also provides key ideas on how to locate other sources of information for students wishing to explore these concepts further and develop a deeper understanding.  


More suited to middle years and upper primary students.  

Australian Curriculum Design and Technologies knowledge and understanding 4.1, 6.1, 8.1.

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25 Coolest NASA Discoveries That Changed Your Life

25 Coolest NASA Discoveries That Changed Your Life | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
After seeing the 25 coolest NASA discoveries that changed your life you might see NASA differently!
Katherine Reed's insight:

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, more commonly known and referred to as NASA, have contributed far more to everyday society and its technological advancements than ‘just’ the study of spaceships and space missions.  Compiled here is a list of technologies that NASA developed that everyday people may come in contact with and use for luxury and/or out of necessity.   The Youtube clip provides the explanation of how these advancements came about, why NASA developed them originally in relation to their own use and how they have been altered (if at all) and integrated for use now in society.  One such example is the see the plastic product NASA developed to protect their heat seeking missile antennae; this plastic has been altered in form to now provide society with see through braces.  From technologies that benefit the environment, such as Solar Energy, to technologies that provide a better quality of life to individuals such as artificial limbs – these advancements from NASA are varied, life changing and meet the diverse needs of communities far and wide.  

Natalie Todd's comment, April 27, 2014 1:25 AM
I love this curation. Once of my favourites so far. I love learning about how items were made and the reasoning behind it. Thank you
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Learn about Sustainability through animations

Learn about Sustainability through animations | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
Free award winning design for sustainability teaching resources and animations on eco-design and life cycle thinking
Katherine Reed's insight:

These animations come from the home page, aptly named "The Secret Life of Things" and gives interesting perspectives from products.  These short clips are sure to get students thinking about the life cycle of products and switching them on to consider sustainability in the design process.  If you also follow the link back to the home page, there are interviews with designers (not animated this time!) and how sustainability is an integral part of their design process.  

Very engaging and suitable for all year level P-7. (2.1, 4.1, 6.1 & 8.1).

Danielle Flower's curator insight, May 26, 2014 12:47 AM

This is a fantastic series of three animated videos which explores the life cycle of products and waste for primary school students. The site also offers additional resources for educators to download for free which include PDF versions of games, activities and game cards on sustainability and environmental impact.!educators/cee5

The complete series of the three animated series of videos can be located at and provides an engaging stimulus for a unit on sustainability through design technologies. Students are invited to consider the end use products and why they are designed the way they are and how this impacts the environment. All products have a life cycle which students have generally considered in terms of living things, this site cleverly introduces this concept in an interesting and accurate medium for non living items.

This website can be linked to Design and Technologies Curriculum scope and sequence F-2 for the content areas 2.1, 2.5, 2.8 and Years 3 & 4 within the areas 4.1, 4.4, 4.5, 4.8. I believe this resource could be used as a springboard for a design activity for students to design a new sustainable product which meets the needs of society and the environment for a given task which is appropriate to the year level; such as a musical instrument or pencil holder for their desks.

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30 Incredible Ways Technology Will Change Education By 2028

30 Incredible Ways Technology Will Change Education By 2028 | Design and Technology Enter the Classroom |
30 Incredible Ways Technology Will Change Education By 2028
Katherine Reed's insight:

This site is targeted towards teachers and educators, as opposed to students.  However, teachers may be able to discuss certain ideas with their students, such as in 2028: Learning simulations begin to replace teachers, and some schools.   This could lead to some interesting conversations and brainstorming where students share what they believe technology may change by 2028 or beyond...

Michelle Poulter's comment, April 26, 2014 5:37 AM
This is very interesting and scary find Katie. According to this article our jobs are safe until about 2024. Wouldn't it be great to look back at articles like this in ten years time to see what predictions are correct. Like you said, great article for discussion