DiScoro writes about inquiry-based learning, digital resources, and ways to encourage higher-order thinking. We focus on STEM education and the use of technology.
This time we write about Technology & Design as a school subject or project for students (grade 6 to 10). In several countries Technology and Design has become a school subject.
Most commonly students work on a task during more than one hour. The tasks are interdisciplinary and require many different skills: planning, sketching, creativity, safety, use of tools, research , construction, experimentation etc.
Technology is not limited to the use of digital technology. Technology & Design tasks have a strong practical component and aim at problem solving skills. By nature the tasks are often low floor-high ceiling tasks. This implies that it is clearly understandable what the goal is, all students are able to get started (low floor). At the same time the tasks offer enough challenges and opportunities to dive deeper both in creativity as well as in complexity (high ceiling).
To make a plan is usually a step in the process. It is up to the teacher to ask for a report of the process or not. This can be written, visual, oral, with the use of multi-media (photos, video) or a combination.
Topics that could be part of Technology & Design are
- coding/programming, see also the blogs about Logo Turtle Academy and Scratch.
- programming with mechanics and the use of sensors – LEGO Mindstorms
- industrial design
- design and create a rocking horse for children age 2-3
- make a piece of household furniture using recycled materials
- make a gripper stick for waste picking, or for elderly people at their homes
- engineering (using concepts from chemistry and physics)
- construct your own thermos flask
- design and create a prototype of a sound proof room
- design and create a solar driven vehicle
- graphic design, (interior design) and art
- create a logo for …..
- design and make the cover page for a novel
- design your own room (use Roomsketcher, IKEA kitchenplanner, Google SketchUp or another 3D drawing program)
Technology and Design will certainly focus on the new economy where circular design and production, and no or minimal waste, are the ultimate challenges and goals.