It's hard to find time to share ideas and experience with other technology teachers these days, but the Internet may provide an easy way of doing that without having to spend time away from school.
Salford University's Technology Education Development Unit is this week launching a new web site for design and technology teachers, called Design and Technology Times Online. You will be able to gain access to it through the gateways of all the main educational providers - click on Campus World, RM Internet for Learning or AOL and look under "Technology" for Design and Technology, or simply type into your web browser: http:www.salford.ac.ukdt-times.
DT Times Online will provide information from teachers and from the many agencies who support the development of the DT curriculum. Hot links will give you access to other important DT sites as and when they become live.
For instance, you will be able to get to the Nuffield, TEP and RCA sites for design and technology from Design and Technology Times Online, as well as finding useful information about each of these curriculum projects inside the pages of the DT Times service.
Through the service you will be able to enjoy discussions with other teachers or specialists across the web, in the UK and overseas, and we will bring you the latest information from government sources such as the Department for Education and Employment and the School Curriculum and Assessment Council. In fact, the team want to hear from you now to know what you would like to see. Links from DT Times will also be made to useful school sites as the team get to know about them. John Bilton's at Trinity C of E High School in Surrey is a good example. It has only been in existence since June but is packed tight with useful information.
Also launched in September is the Design Council web site. Aimed at professional designers as well as education, it currently offers some useful information about design and education week. Take note also of another Internet service which is about to offer excellent opportunities for schools - Design and Technology Online. You will be able to arrange for remote manufacture of products as well as other useful services such as "Ask an expert" by using this service. The web address for this will be announced soon.
John Bilton's UK Technology Education Centre: http:www.rmplc.co.ukeduwebsitestrinitytechhome.html Design Council: http:www.design-council.org.uk Design and Techology OnlineTel: 01223 500548 Martin Coleman is director of the Technology Education Development Unit, University of Salford. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org