Stimulate, support and explore
Creativity comes naturally to some but not to the majority. This is why it is essential that we provide every aid possible in order to inspire those around us. Everyone has an element of creativity, we just have to find a way to unlock it. There are several ways to start....
Produce stimulating displays on the corridor and in the classrooms that are not only aesthetically pleasing but are bold and clear enough to actually use as an aid in lessons and for individual projects. Assess your surroundings and discuss with colleagues how best to use the spaces available.
Regularly review your resources, every year we are further away from the age of the pupils we teach and resources need to be appealing and accessible to each year group that progresses.
Build up a list of contacts in your subject area in local schools. Visit when possible and also host staff in your department. Get involved with setting up your own network with likeminded staff.
So often social media is feared by teachers but this does not need to be the case. Set up a limited, professional account, simply for joining teacher network pages or use your own account to do this. As long as you restrict all of your privacy settings or like some, use your middle name, this can be such an effective professional networking tool.
Facebook - For such a popular social networking site, the possibilities fro professional networking are endless! In Design and Technology, thousands of teachers are sharing ideas, projects, problem solving, organising local, national and international events.
Twitter - This social media site has been an excellent CPD tool. An area to follow other departments and key figures within education. Add a '#' and find great opportunities to share work and chat about design and education. #DandT #Design #Technology #DTChat #DTMadeIt
Many staff and students have access to devices capable of running apps. Most design companies have a free app that can help in many ways with inspiring ideas and encouraging design discussion. Below are a series of apps that could help with teaching and learning in your school.
Video Support -
DATA have launched a superb series of videos to support Design & Technology teachers as a part of their 2015 campaign. Also Philip Downing has launched a YouTube channel with videos that will support different processes and skills with D&T. Phil explains, 'D&Tube is a YouTube channel with playlists of short videos to support students of D&T Product Design and Resistant Materials. Each playlist has a small selection of relevant videos that should help students to understand the theory elements of D&T. D&Tube also creates some original content - a selection of videos to explain theory content and help teachers teach theory in an practical way.'
The following are invaluable websites to support training and delivery of Design & Technology.