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Inspiration activator

BRIGHT IDEAS! CD-Rom by Louise Davies and David Cripps. pound;41.12 for DATA members, pound;47 for non members. DATA Tel: 01789 470007. Email: data@data.org.uk www.data.org.uk

Bright Ideas! is one in a new series of teacher resources for key stage 3 from the Design and Technology Association. They provide classroom-based resources to support the national strategy for design and are closely linked to the DT framework objectives for Year 7.

This CD-Rom is about designing for food and the tasks may be used as stand-alones or as part of teaching in design-and-make assignments. The activities include analysing design briefs, considering users, developing ideas, evaluating products and peer evaluation. Emphasis thoughout is on learning by doing.

The CD-Rom has four projects or topics and more than 16 activities. It addresses the familiar topics of snacks, sports drinks, edible novelties and soups and salads which link to units from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority schemes of work. These units are also provided as downloads on the disk, along with example assessments for levels 3-7.

This provides useful reference for curriculum planning. The materials and approaches on the CD-Rom complement existing resources, including the RCA Schools' Technology Project Challenges series published by Hodder Stoughton, and Heinemann's Create! Food Technology.

The activities support whole-class and group work and are not designed to be used by students alone. As with any resource, teachers need to give careful consideration to the way the materials are presented if they are to obtain maximum success. Many of the activities could be used as starters or plenaries to focus students' attention at various stages.

For each theme there is a PowerPoint presentation for interactive whiteboards or single PCs. Web links take students from set activities and tasks to tried-and-tested sites for further information.

The user interface is bright, colourful and presents plenty of stimulus that will capture the imagination of the target age group. The activities could be adapted to be used in other contexts and years. The resource makes appropriate use of ICT for teaching and saves teachers valuable time in preparing high quality materials. This is a must for any teacher wishing to develop a broader range of teaching techniques to improve students'

design.

Ali Farrell is director of FoodForum www.foodforum.org.uk

* This CD is the first of a series. Others on product design and textiles will be available later in the year. The full set will cost pound;105.75 for DATA members, pound;123.37 for non-members.

Year 8 and 9 versions are planned for later in the year.

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