New Technology in Teaching and Learning

Overview of New Technology in Teaching and Learning

New Technology in Teaching and Learning, The 1st design and technology test was held in 1977. The examination consisted of 3 papers:

(a)          Design

(b)          Technological studies

(c)           practical

In ninety seventy-eight, the practical paper was canceled and substituted by the project paper. The core rationale behind this change was to provide more project experience to students, instead of only skill drilling and technique assessment. Instead of requiring students to memorize the subject matter and present particular skills, the examination claims to assess students’ design and technological capabilities.

When design and technology were introduced from the UK into Hong Kong in the mid-1970s, its Chinese name was ‘She Yi and Gong Yi’. The last two Chinese characters, ‘Gong Yi’, are literally translated as ‘arts and crafts’ rather than ‘technology’. This may reproduce the fact that in 1970 and 1980, design and technology were still more related to craft and technical preparation. In 1994, the Chinese name of design and technology was translated as ‘She Yi and Ke Ji’; ‘Ke Ji’ reflecting more accurately the meaning of ‘technology’. One of the major reasons for this change was that curriculum planners and teachers had started (albeit a little late) to realize that craft and technical training could not correctly reflect the nature of design and technology. They had also started to understand that the traditional master-and apprentice way of training technical subjects could not fulfill the new educational needs, in particular, because society (that is, tertiary institutions and workplaces) has changed to require school graduates to be more creative and critical in design thinking, rather than only performing perfect craftsmanship.

New Technology in Teaching and Learning

When design and technology were first implemented in the mid-1970s, there was, in fact, no great change in teaching and learning activities compared to the traditional technical subjects. Although there were some changes in classroom settings and facilities, and heavy machines were phased out, many schools still emphasized skill training. The only difference was that many schools claimed that they ran the curriculum according to the project approach, which was a red-hot topic in the UK and many other countries.

Since the 1980s, there have been some changes in teaching and learning in design and technology. Firstly, new teacher-education graduates (including some who have graduated from other countries) bring a more design- and technology-oriented approach to the subject.

Secondly, the revised curriculum and examination syllabi (for the woodwork and metal biases) allow more opportunities for teachers to plan activities suitable for their students’ particular needs.

Thirdly, as mentioned before, Hong Kong has changed from its original status as an entrepot trading post to become a manufacturing-oriented economy, one based on a combination of manufacturing and servicing industries, and lastly the global economic center it is today. All these changes bring new social and industrial needs, as well as expectations of school-leavers and in turn, education policy and aims. Students taking design and technology are expected to have more critical minds to enable them to serve in industry, and to further their studies in tertiary institutions (in particular those expected to study abroad, as many foreign universities require students to show more initiative and creativity in their thinking).

Finally, the latest technology has affected the teaching methods for design and technology. Using computers as a media and web-teaching tool for delivering materials has become more common in the subject. Computer-aided tools have made changes in the curriculum so that students have no need to spend so much time learning traditional technical skills, for example, conventional technical drawing. Unlike the traditional completion of last products that is, physical objects, scholars also submit their work by using different means, such as 2-D and 3-D computer graphics and models. The part of teachers has also changed in that they are not a single source of information for students. Students are encouraged to explore/find out answers by themselves by using new technology and inventions (for example, computers and the Internet).

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