Inspired
by science fiction movies, lecturers from Edge Hill University’s BSc (Hons) Secondary
Design and Technology Education with QTS
degree recently introduced TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) and the
results have been out of this world.

Senior
Lecturer Dawne Bell explains, “We originally introduced TEL to support a final
year module where trainees were asked to design and develop a ‘concept’ product,
something that doesn’t exist at the moment but could do in the future.”
 

Dawne
continues, “As part of this process we looked at the notion that science
fiction should actually be called ‘design fiction’, as many inventions are
conceived as ideas years before the science exists to make them a reality.
Science is actually always playing catch-up to a creative vision, so to
illustrate this we looked at examples such as Star Trek from the late 1950s,
where their handheld communication devices looked very much like today’s mobile
flip phones.”
 

Dawne,
and course leader David Wooff, had initially used the technology to deliver a
variety of modules alongside setting up blogs and exploring the use of QR codes
to share information and images. Following on from this the trainees then used
similar methods to create and produce their own work, including ‘living’ design
portfolios.
 

David
adds, “A number of students went on to use TEL in their own lessons while on teaching
practice, providing a practical application of theory before going on placement.”
 

One
such student was Aiden Boal, “I grew up at the beginning of home computers, so
getting to know all the new technology was an exciting challenge for someone
over 40! Getting away from traditional methods provides a more motivating way
to get work done. I believe TEL is probably the most useful tool a teacher can
have, as it helps them to connect with their pupils via methods young people now
take for granted.”
 

Feedback
about developing the course in this way has been extremely positive, with all
of the third year students who engaged with the project securing teaching jobs upon
graduation. Dawne adds, “A number of our students have said how TEL has helped
them in the production of their work, as well as how they had been able to
utilise aspects of it to increase the motivation and engagement of pupils while
on placement.”
 

Adding,
“The very fact that they would have been able to talk about TEL at interviews, give
examples of using it on placements and state that they spoke about it at the
recent Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning annual SOLSTICE
conference, all helps them to stand out from other applicants and become more
attractive to employers.”
 

Dawne
concludes, “Beyond the application process, by simply engaging in this work students
have been able to develop many attributes, which has built their confidence and
self-belief and made them stronger practitioners as a result.”
 

To
find out more about studying BSc (Hons) Design and Technology with QTS course,
visit https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/study/courses/secondary-design-and-technology-education-with-qts