A new resource for Technology Educators - the DVD Series

  This set of 20 DVD’s has been developed covering all aspects of Technology Education in the new South African Curriculum. There are 32 hours of information for learners and teachers which enhances their learning and teaching. It is especially valuable to teachers new to the Learning Area.   This series of Videos for Grades 7 to 9 has been designed and presented by John Clerk, the lead writer on the team responsible for the development of the GET Technology CAPS document, and previously also a member of the team that developed the National Curriculum Statement for Technology Grade R to 9. He was also the lead member of the panel which set the Grade 9 CTA for 2006 and again in 2007, moderated the CTA of 2008, and has set the CTA’s for 2009 and 2010.   The series focuses on CORE KNOWLEDGE that educators are known to be struggling to teach. It is available in both English and Afrikaans.   It shows how most of the required syllabus topics can be met in schools even if you have limited equipment, lack facilities and are under-resourced. The syllabus topics are introduced on a grade by grade basis, but each section is dealt with as comprehensively as possible. Although all videos can be watched by all grades, teachers will need to reinforce the aspects that are grade-specific with their learners. The videos deal with the topics in an integrated way so that teachers and learners can see how the various aspects of the Learning Area are related to each other, and how aspects introduced in the intermediate phase are covered in greater detail in the senior phase. This makes the set usable by Intermediate Phase Technology teachers. Many of the topics also fit aspects of the Natural Sciences syllabi - especially topics related to electricity and to electric power generation and distribution via the national grid.   The series is designed as a resource for teachers, to be used to augment their teaching, and to show aspects of technology off-campus that may be too difficult, or too expensive, or even too dangerous to get to. DVD 19 covers visits the Plastics Federation, as well as visits to Nampak and Megapac, two plastics-processing factories which do not normally allow visits by school groups. This DVD saves you the cost of busing learners to a site and provides a safer and better experience because the process is explained using Systems Diagrams, and cut-away diagrams of the machinery. Just by itself DVD 19 is worth the cost of the whole set. We do not sell individual DVD’s, nor subsets on specific topics, as this would raise production costs enormously.   The series deals with aspects required by the syllabus topics, from Gr7 up to Gr9, focusing specifically on topics that lend themselves to the medium of video. We target the topics of Structures, Mechanical and Electrical/Electronic Systems and Control, and Processing. There are a total of 146 video-lessons, averaging 14 minutes in length. No lesson is longer than 28 minutes allowing complete viewing within a typical 30 minute lesson. Each lesson culminates in a set of questions aimed at measuring concentration and testing comprehension. There are 538 questions and short tasks given, and purchases of the set receive comprehensive answers on a bonus CD.   We look at the Technological Design Process and deal with Design aspects - ranging from sketching, to working drawings and artistic presentation graphics – building the skills aspects up from Grade 7 to 9. We cover Exploded views, Flow Charts and Systems Diagrams. We show how some tools should be used correctly and safely. We deal with aspects of Indigenous Technologies, Bias in technology and the Impact of technology.   The material is handled in an interesting way that is accessible to all learners, irrespective of their home language. Since the medium is visual, learners are able to interpret what is said easily. Key terminology appears on screen and important concepts are repeated in slightly different ways. Each topic is introduced in a very simple and graphic way. Concepts are built up becoming gradually more complex. Even when we deal with the calculations expected of the learners in the higher grades, the material is still of value to younger learners. Whenever appropriate, the presenter takes time to alert learners to the needs of safe behaviour.   The series does not attempt to replace the teacher. We have deliberately avoided giving the learners projects to do – this, together with assessment, must remain the prerogative of each teacher. The videos can serve as an introduction to the chosen topic, and later as revision material. In some cases, especially where there is a known shortage of teacher skills, topics are presented as fully as possible. This will allow the teacher (who should watch the disks with the learners) to provide additional explanations, answer questions, and set follow-up tasks. As mentioned earlier, each section has a few questions designed to test the learner’s understanding of the key concepts presented, and to give teachers samples of questions suitable for this Learning Area.   This series of videos is vital because it fills an important gap in the national planning. The problem is that Technology is a new Learning Area, and there are very few qualified, and far too many very inexperienced educators in the Learning Area. Many educators involved with teaching the Learning Area have been allocated from other subjects, often under protest. We appreciate their efforts. This DVD series will ease their burden and assist them to reach the quality required.   Teachers who have begun using the series report that they are now confident in their ability to teach the Learning Area. Even teachers who have not yet taught any Technology have expressed their keenness to become Technology teachers. Some schools have reported that their learners are producing work of higher quality than was the case prior to their exposure to the videos.   Although originally conceived to augment the GET NCS, it has much to offer some technical subjects in the FET NCS. It will be useful to educators teaching Gr10, 11 and 12 in the related disciplines of Mechanical Technology, Electrical Technology and Civil Technology. It is particularly strong in certain aspects of design. Hence, it is fair to say that this series will add value to teaching across all grades from Gr4 to Gr12. Several Science teachers have used the 4 DVD’s dealing with Electricity to augment their science lessons.   Due to the integrated nature of the Technology Learning Area, many of the topics are relevant to the Natural Sciences Core Knowledge as well. The presenter takes time to point out these cross-curricular links wherever they occur. Many teachers of science will find the series helpful in showing learners phenomena and applications of scientific principles that they are not able to emulate in the classroom.   The Technology Videos were conceived as part of the new e-Learning initiative of the National DoE and are the start of a SERIES intended to address educational needs in a number of Learning Areas. Later videos will deal with Physical Science, Computer Applications Technology, Mathematics, Geography, Biology, Remedial Programmes, and others according to demand.  

Professor Attie Snyman