Technology & Design??

08 Jun

When people register for homeschooling with the HEU, they often forget to mention the subject ”Technology and Design’ or they consider it to be just ‘using the computer’.  The HEU seem to have a real bug bear about it.  I’ve helped a bunch of people register and almost all of them have been asked to review and add more to this subject area.

It’s not because ‘Technology and Design’ doesn’t happen in their homes, they just don’t think of it as school.   As kids we certainly didn’t study it at school.  So it’s relatively new in the curriculum, if ten years or so can be called new.  🙂

So what is “Technology and Design”?  Well it is computery, technology stuff –

using digital cameras (downloading images too and editing them)

using the internet for research

Word processing, spreadsheets, databases and presentations using Office programs

using educational CD roms, online games and various online learning as part of other subject learning

using scanners, printers, ipods, ipads and all those gadgets

dabbling in computer programming (or jumping right in the deep end and thriving on it – that’s my son!)

creating their own websites and blogs

using ATMs and self-service devices (at the shops and libraries)


But “Technology and Design” is also about planning, designing, creating and executing a plan –

using materials (as simple as your recyclables or as complex as fabric or wood) to create something

considering how to fix or improve something

following someone else’s instructions to create something (Lego or other kits)

learning carpentry, sewing, cooking or other hobby and crafts

planning and creating a cubby, item to sell at a fair or homemade gifts for christmas

planning and helping execute a birthday party or holiday

marketing and sale type planning and executing

discussions about the properties of materials or how best to join or cut materials

discussions about safety, perhaps informal safety evaluations

using a range of tools (not just tools from the toolbox)

different planning processes like mindmapping and brainstorming

all sorts of different things!


Most of the time I don’t formally plan these sorts of activity.  They happen all of the time in children’s play and the world around them so I consider my role in this subject as the role of a mentor and resource person.  I encourage them to design and create, I provide the materials and tools and am available for advice (solicited and unsolicited) and assistance of course.  I’m also a great guinea pig for their creations and plans.  It’s really not hard – hmmm well that kind of depends on the ‘guinea pig’ phase of things – but generally it’s a breeze.

Here’s just two examples, of the design component of the subject, from our week.  Neither were planned and yet both were wonderful examples of the possibilities.

IMG_0399 (Small)

IMG_0409 (Small)

Isn't he cute?!

IMG_0310 (Small)

A Snack Station

IMG_0311 (Small)

Drink machine with straw (lid to stop it spilling and things falling in); lolly dispenser at the back for tube across the top like a Pez machine to drop your treats directly to you; and a rubbish bin to the other side (good thinking!). Just the prototype of course. Keep your eyes peeled for ordering options.


‘Technology and Design” is something that homeschoolers can do really well.  We have the space, the time and the materials to properly explore the subject.

So don’t consider it too much of a pain when the HEU asks you to add more to this subject area.  Thank them for enriching your homeschool and reminding you of the great opportunities available to homeschoolers!

Then let your inventors (and aspiring ‘Steve Jobs’s) set to work on their next masterpiece!  It could be a millionaire dollar idea!!…just make sure, before they make an unearthly mess on the floor, that they agree to look after you in your old age, once they are rich and famous.






1 Comment

Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Technology


One response to “Technology & Design??

  1. eli

    July 14, 2012 at 7:25 am

    “technology and design” my 2 favorite words technology and design. what i think when i think technology and design i think designing the technology for gadgets and gizmos. also 2 more of my favorite words gadgets and gizmos. lol
    “i am the reflection of your poor self reflection”


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