Module 1

Required Readings PRIOR to Tutorial 1

Design and Technology for Children Chapter 1: The nature of technology and technological knowledge

You do not need to complete the in-text activities as these will be addressed in tutorials but it is important that you have read the texts as this will be assumed.

Tutorial Resources

Toys (that can taken apart and reassembled)
Coloured pens
Recycled material (cardboard, plastic containers, tape, string, cloth, etc.) (Cricket Enclosure (2.07))
Plastic bags


Tutorial 1

In your tutorial you will undertake a variety of technology activities including:

ACTIVITY T1.0    Getting to know each other

Using a shared Google Document, post a brief (100 word) introduction of yourself 

Group 1 (Wednesday 1pm - 3pm)
Group 2 (Wednesday 4pm - 6pm)
Group 3 (Thursday 9am - 11am)
Group 4 (Thursday 11am - 1pm)
Group 5 (Thursday 2pm - 4pm)
Group 6 (Thursday 4pm - 6pm)

ACTIVITY T1.1    What is technology?

What do you understand by the term technology? What are your images, concepts and feelings about technology in general and how does technology fit in with your life and society as a whole? 

ACTIVITY T1.2    Technological knowledge

In chapter 8 of your Design and Technology for Children text there is a design brief for designing, making and evaluating a musical instrument (see Figure 8.11). Draw up a performa of learning outcomes with the four headings: Conceptual Learning Outcomes, Procedural Learning Outcomes, Societal Learning Outcomes, and Technical Learning Outcomes. In small groups discuss and document the technological knowledge and scientific knowledge that relates to a musical instrument of your choice. 

ACTIVITY T1.3    Tinkering with Toys

In pairs, participate in the activity of "Tinkering with toys" using the PERE strategy and the toys you brought to:

  • PREDICT    

    Using only one colour, draw a sketch of the toy from the outside and what you think it might look inside.

  • EXPLORE    

    Pickup the toy and pull it apart, making sure that you lay the parts out in order so that you can put it back together again. This layout activity will help you succeed. Look at all the different parts and find out their names and functions. Observe all the materials that have been used to make the toy.


    Using a different coloured pen, draw what you have found out about the toy. Name all the parts including materials and state their functions.


    Compare the different colours and check what you have found out. Write down what you have learnt by doing this activity.

ACTIVITY T1.4    Children's technological worlds

In what ways do the recently introduced technological items influence children?

Do children play differently (e.g. electronic pets or replica toys)?

Are children able to engage in learning not possible before the technological development (e.g. cyberspace and virtual reality games)?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of high technologies and simple technologies for children?

ACTIVITY T1.5    Technology Transfer

Can you think of other technologies that have been transferred from one culture to another? What have been the results?

Activity T1.6    Exploitation and Technology

Can you think of other ways that Australians can change their practices so as not to endanger or encourage the exploitation of people in poor majority countries? 

Activity T1.7    Appropriate Technology

Look at the photographs of two products on page 16 of your text (Figure 1.2) made in South Africa or the following:

In small groups, first consider the material from which the products are made. Write down each person's suggestion about the product's purpose. Then come to a shared understanding of the function of the product and give the mystery product a name. Second consider the bracelet. What material do you think it is made from, and how do you think it was made?

What could these be used for?

How many possible uses can you think of?

ACTIVITY T1.8    Evaluating the appropriateness of technologies

Use the checklist in Table 1.1, 'Is it an appropriate technology for us?', as a guide to evaluate your own design work and the work of other designers from a similar culture. Evaluate the appropriateness of the technologies listed by placing a tick or cross in each box. Add your own examples of technology (14-16) and check these against the criteria.

ACTIVITY T1.9     What are your feelings about teaching technology?

Record what you think technology education should involve. How should this area be taught to children? Briefly consider what the important areas that come under the umbrella of technology education are.

ACTIVITY T1.10    Design and make a cricket enclosure

In a small group, and using recycled materials, design and make an enclosure to house a few crickets safely. Do some research and follow the stages set out in the Design Brief where you may also get some ideas from the completed projects (pages 24-26). Once your product is made and tested, come together as a whole class and use the set criteria to evaluate each group's enclosure.

Design Challenge

Fashion Show

Using just the material provided, create a fashion statement that 1. is atheistically pleasing, 2. holds together and 3. is comfortable.;sa=showtopics;tag=anything_but_clothes