In May 2015, I'll be taking part in the International D&T Conference in Dubai. The conference is a 4 day event organised by Technology Supplies Ltd. The first 2 days will be a H&S accreditation course run by DATA and the final two will host a range of Keynote speakers on the topic of 'Creativity in the future'. There will also be a range of workshops for attendees to take part in too, providing a fantastic opportunity for networking and CPD.
Keynote Presentation "Stimulate, support and explore"
The title itself is a three-step approach that exemplifies how learning and progress can be made in D&T lessons. We are the designers, the engineers, and the ‘hopefully creative’. We reflect on our practice and always strive to make D&T an accessible, enjoyable, and explorative area in which pupils feel free to take risks when expressing themselves and their ideas. How can we best cater for this? Scaffold/foster/build a creative and inspiring environment as a result of well-designed and appealing projects and resources.
So how do we support each other in promoting our subject area and its importance? We open ourselves to inspiration and we support D&T teachers nationwide, and internationally, in improving through advanced networking, sharing of ideas, discussion, and collaboration.
Workshop "Another angle"
This workshop will encourage participants to re-think their current approach to tackling the design process at all key stages. By taking a look at our interpretation of the individual steps, we can deconstruct how they are currently displayed in order to redesign and modernise creatively.
A series of games will be available to introduce in the design studio; these will demonstrate how to stimulate the minds of young designers and encourage discussion about existing products and the development of new products. Outcomes will link to Bloom’s taxonomy and new terms related to the design and technology curriculum.
James's thoughts... "Creativity takes many forms, depending on the context. In D&T, it can be that you naturally look at things from a different perspective, approach tasks from an angle not considered 'the norm'.
"Everyone has the potential to be more creative; they just need stimulation to access imagination, and support to develop it."
Well here it is.....incomplete but ready to publish for now!
I wanted to start by saying thank you to all D&T teachers who have supported what I am trying to do and what I have been trying to do for the last year or so.
It all started with resource development about 7 years ago, I produced a monopoly tracker to try to encourage pupils to see the bigger picture and to track their own progress. Much of this came from research I had read that had been produced by my Dad, Kevan Bleach, on 'boy's underachievement' and I started to think about how Resistant Materials had a lot of coursework and a lot of boys!
I have always enjoyed getting to know a new CAD program and using it to develop teaching resources for my lessons. I think it is crucial that we make the effort to produce resources that are appealing to pupils and keep them engaged. Also, we are design teachers and it saddens me to see what I refer to as a 'WordArt' resource!
Anyway, after teaching at my first post for several years I moved down to Red Lodge and took the post of Head of D&T at Samuel Ward, an outstanding academy in Haverhill, Suffolk.
At the same time, social media really started to take off and after exploring a few groups such as Product Design/Graphics/RM/Textiles surgery, DTDropbox, D&T Teachers and D&T teachers forum, I decided to start posting some of my work.
The first piece I put up was the design timeline, produced as part of a renovation project in one of our workshops. The response was huge and I started adding files to 'DTDropbox' by Jon Martlew. After a little while it became apparent that the volume of resources I had to offer were too much for the shared folder allowance and I decided to go my own way with 'J.BleachD&TResources', not the catchiest name but it proved to work for the time being! I always promised that if I have 200 members to my dropbox i'd set up a website (and I did purchase the domain name at this point I promise!) and decided to search for the most suitable one. This is where the name changed. Over time, I started to develop and share more and more and gained interest from several design companies.
I was approached by Technology Supplies about collaborating and met with staff from the company and was really impressed with their plans. The website progress slowed as I started to explore other avenues such as a facebook page and a focus on collaboration of resources.
So.....time to get this up and running properly! Keep an eye on it as it progresses, leave feedback, share ideas and post images, network with D&T teachers around the country and the world to promote our fantastic subject!