Teachers of design and technology (and their students) have never had it so good and things are getting better. The Internet provides a huge source of ideas and information and the potential for collaboration between schools.
Much is being developed, but there is plenty there already. For instance, the National Council For Educational Technology's (NCET) page provides a list of ways to find out more about communications projects in the UK.
Food and nutrition students, for example, can find thousands of recipes from ancient Rome, local Hawaiian dishes and everything they ever wanted to know about jelly. Just type "recipe" and search.
Searching the Internet can produce many choices there are over 1.5 million sites. It helps to begin with a few starter sites. The Kids Web page (see page 11), for example, offers "science and technology" as an option.
From there, students can go on a tour of the Franklin Institute Science Museum and by selecting the "hotlist" option, they can use the remote- controlled arm of the Bradford Robotic Telescope and discover how it works.
Langley Junior and Infant school's home page links to other pages which design and technology students will enjoy. NASA's Online Educational Resources is easy to access from there.
The school's IT co-ordinator Doug Weller believes the Internet offers massive learning potential. "Having a real audience, not just the teacher, gives young people a new perspective - whatever subject they are working on. We've begun collaborative work with schools in other countries. " The Engineering Council is working hard to expand its links with schools.
According to the council's Dr John Williams, "We are seeking a dynamic relationship with schools. The more they use our Internet page, the more likely it is they will e-mail us with their comments. The materials can then be altered quickly."
"We are keen to give schools exactly what they need from us, not what we think they should have," he added. The council is developing CD-Roms which portray real situations in industry which can be used in schools and on the Internet.
There is plenty on the Internet now to help students with design and technology projects. Just around the corner are virtual reality enhancements within the World Wide Web, allowing users to move around a virtual three dimensional space. The possibilities for design and technology are almost endless.
LEARNING WITH THE INTERNET
http:ncet.csv.warwick.ac.ukWWWranddexpnet-learning.html. . . is also a good starting point to find further design and technology information. LANGLEY JUNIOR AND INFANTS SCHOOL
http:schoolnet.sys.uea.ac.ukschoolnetprilanghtml KIDS WEB and the NASA pages can be reached from the Langley school home page.
THE ENGINEERING COUNCIL
http:www.engc.ic.ac.uk This will change over the summer to: http:www.engc.org.uk