- It allows the teaching of programmed syllabus outcomes and content.
- It is sufficiently open-ended to allow curriculum differentiation to meet the needs of a variety of learners.
- It provides an opportunity to collect evidence of significant student learning – for assessment and reporting purposes.
- It is manageable and sufficiently focused to allow student depth of understanding and success.
Technology education involves the process of designing and then making what has been designed. Through this process students develop a greater appreciation of the significant decision-making involved and develop critical thinking skills.
The design process – what is a quality task?
The design process – developing a quality task
- What specific content and outcomes do students need to learn?
- What will be evidence of significant learning?
- What is the total time available?
- Do you have a budget?
- Are materials and other resources available?
- What equipment and facilities do you have available?
An authentic need or opportunity is meaningful to the student and has:
- a real benefit, purpose and use
- a real user who can provide feedback on design ideas and developments
- real limitations such as time, money, materials, equipment
- a real context influenced by specific social, ethical and environmental issues.
Questions to consider
- Is there someone in the community, such as a local preschool or childcare centre, who may have a product need?
- Is there a local event or similar opportunity arising in the community to develop a product?
- Is there an abundance of resources, for example, seasonal food or leftover materials, available to be used?
- Is there local expertise, such as an architect, textile artist or craftsperson who is keen to help?
- Introduce the design project to your students. Explain the non-negotiable aspects of the project and the negotiable aspects.
- Specify the learning and assessment expectations and additional aspects such as:
- time, money, materials and facilities available
- expertise and community support available
- need or opportunity
- the user.
- Negotiate with students any flexible aspects of the design project.
- Decide on an appropriate design task with the students.
At this point students are ready to start their design project.
The design process – evaluating
Planning, managing and evaluating are essential for each of the above steps. Students must review actions, milestones, time and financial plans. Ongoing evaluation, related to the criteria of success, informs the students’ decision-making at each step.
At the conclusion of the project students reflect and learn about the processes used and outcomes.
Common technological language
Throughout Kindergarten to Year 12 students are encouraged to use consistent language when describing the technology process. Students:
- explore and define the task
- generate and develop ideas
- produce solutions.