Creativity, Design and Making

July 10, 2017

Making Models

Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 12:18 pm

Designers often use models to enable themselves and their clients to understand the product being designed. Most people can visualise something effectively when presented with a simple model.

For your exam work you need to show that you have used a model to communicate your ideas and asssit with your development of your design.

Models can be made from anything really from kits like Lego through to card, paper, sticky tape and adhesives.  They can be highly detailed and realistic or really simple.

Sometimes models are test pieces for how something will be constructed or joined.

May 23, 2011

Insight Learning Organisation newsletter

Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 12:46 pm

It gives me great pleasure to promote ILO’s newsletter. ILO based in Dubai, UAE  owned and run by Keith Usher.  Click here to read the latest news.

Today ILO has been training senior staff from ADX.

May 13, 2011


Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 4:10 pm

I would like to share these two spelling mistakes……

‘Prophets’ seen in an education publication and ‘Caranation’ chicken seen in a local deli!

April 20, 2011

iMindmap v5 and headaches!

Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 3:44 pm
Tags: , ,

I have been using iMindmap since it first arrived on the scene. I use all the different versions daily from my iPhone/iPad to the my Apple MAC desktop for everything in my personal and private life.

This mindmap was produced using the very new and totally awesome iMindmap v5!  As a person who has suffered badly with migraines  and headaches over the years I have never had a headache using iMindmap.  Watch this space for more medical maps in the next few weeks.

The information was taken from the Mindmaps in Medicine textbook.

January 30, 2011

Branch order on a Mind Map……

Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 1:00 pm
I was recently sent the following by Roberta Buzzacchino

I have a question about mind mapping…

How to read and write a mind map: clockwise or counter–clockwise ?

Getting in touch with other mind mappers has allowed me to  think over some rules of mind mapping.

As I have already written in my previous post, I knew Hans Buskes some weeks ago

and while reading his maps I noticed something particular related to the direction to follow when reading.

Everybody knows that a mind map is written/read clockwise.

The “critical” point is on the left side of the map,

when from branches 3 and 4 you draw  the sub-branches.

After that, how can we go on?

Clockwise, that is from the bottom to the top?

Or counter–clockwise, that is from the top to the bottom ?

My reply is as follows:

First of all I have to say that there is no rule which states which direction you should write a map and therefore it is not true to say that everyone knows this.
However I have always worked clockwise starting at 1 and going round the face. It is not good practice to have more than 7-8 first order branches so it is unlikely that you would run out of space.
The second and third level branches should, in my opinion, go clockwise as was well.  The reason for stating this is that when you come to read a map, particularly when using it to presenting from, the brain gets confused when you go past six o’clock and suddenly start using second order branches in a counter clockwise direction.
I have looked quite carefully at why people suddenly start using a counterclockwise technique and it because if we were making a list we would start at the top and work downwards.
Unfortunately most software cannot cope with the effective change in direction and starts to run counter clockwise.
I have also found that most left handers like to run their maps counter clockwise. While I have no particular issue with this or left handers it does not make sharing maps easier. I liken it to the way in which we produce text in linear form which is top left to bottom right in a snake like, line by line pattern. If we suddenly did something different from the convention it would create reading and communication issues. There is no reason to do this.
In all my training sessions I encourage my delegates to run their maps clockwise for all levels of the branches to make reading and sharing easier.
The picture below should help explain the way in which I teach my students to layout a mind map correctly. Click here to a PDF version for printing. Branch Order

December 1, 2010

Weather Watch Wakefield

Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 10:40 am

Weather watch from live webcam in Wakefield looking over NewMillerDam click on the image above  to see the latest live pictures.

November 28, 2010

Using Mind Maps in place of a bullet list

Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 7:29 pm

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I came across an interesting and different blog by The Shopping Queen. SQ had written about her first experience of live blogging at an event with a hand bullet list of 10 points of how to deal with such an event from the planning through to the follow-up.

I produced from this list an 8 branched Mind Map in iMindmap as I read the article.

The text version of the article can be found by  clicking  SHOPPINQUEEN


November 26, 2010

Education White Paper 2010 Summary in a Visual Format

Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 12:17 pm
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The long awaited and recently published Education White Paper makes for interesting reading. I have read it and several reviews by others producing a summary in the form of a Mind Map. (displayed  below). The original text can be found at: White Paper 2010.

Here are some links to other summaries (all original writers acknowledged with thanks).

Teacher Support

Montrose42 Blog

Text based version with text taken from School Drudgery on Twitter and from the original white paper.

Education White Paper: Summary

  • Schools will no longer have a duty to cooperate with Children’s Trusts and LAs will not have to produce a CYPP
  • There will be a reduction in statutory prescription for Governing Bodies. In other words if they can justify their actions then they can do it provided its legal.
  • Schools will no longer be required to complete a centrally determined SEF, although self evaluation will still be important. My guess is that there will be a number of alternative versions around hopefully software based.
  • Centralised target-setting will end. Not sure how this will work, how will OFSTED manage to compare institutions?
  • Schools will be free to determine their own assessment methods – APP will not be expected. However this means that it can still be used.
  • FMSiS has been scrapped and will be replaced with a simpler standard next year.
  • All current guidance is to be reviewed and replaced by a simple, definitive suite of guidance. One comprehensive document or a suite of conflicting documents is more  than likely to develop.
  • Academy status will be the norm, although no school will be compelled to convert however those who under perform  the Secretary of State will use their power to order conversion under a new provider.
  • Schools will be expected to collaborate but this will be driven by school leaders and not centrally. Or should it be should be driven by school leaders?
  • Good schools with outstanding features have been invited to apply for Academy status, and other schools may do so in partnership with a good or outstanding school.
  • Free schools will be allowed to open where there is demand.
  • LAs will be encouraged to market their school improvement services to all schools.
  • LAs will coordinate admissions and ensure fair access to all schools, the requirement to have an admissions forum will be removed.
  • There will be a consultation on a new Admissions Code, although it will retain many of the requirements of the existing code. This seems to imply that the consultation has already taken place!
  • LAs will retain responsibility for providing and organising school transport.
  • LAs will retain their responsibilities for children with SEN and ‘looked after’ children.
  • Over time, local authorities will move towards a ‘strategic commissioning’ role.
  • The primary responsibility for school improvement rests with schools (hasn’t this always been the case?)
  • Schools will determine what targets to set for themselves, choose what forms of external support they want and determine how to evaluate themselves. In other words they are solely responsible for improvement
  • Teaching Schools, National and Local Leaders of Education will help provide support for school improvement.
  • There will be a new market in school improvement services, but it will be up to schools to determine what support  they need.
  • There will no longer be a requirement for every school to have a School Improvement Partner.
  • Local authorities will be expected to intervene in underperforming schools and help produce a plan for improvement or conversion to Academy status with a new provider.
  • All the information that underpins government statistical tables will be published for each school.
  • DfE will also publish ‘families of schools’ documents, that  group similar schools in a region and provide detailed performance information that can be used by schools to identify other schools from which they can learn.
  • Schools will be required to publish a range of information online.
  • The Contextual Value Added measure in league tables will be scrapped.
  • Performance tables will include a measure of how well pupils progress as well as attainment
  • New floor standards will be introduced for primary schools: schools where fewer than 60% of children achieve L4 in English and Maths in Y6 and make less than 2 levels progress Y2-Y6 will be considered to be failing and risk being taken over by new providers.
  • The floor standard for secondaries will be raised to 35% of children achieving 5 A*-C grades at GCSE and failing to make more than average progress between KS2 and KS4.
  • A new Ofsted framework, with inspections focussed on pupil achievement, the quality of teaching, leadership and management, and the behaviour and safety of pupils, will be introduced from September 2011.
  • Governing Bodies will be focussed more closely on strategic direction. Chairs of Governors will be trained by the National College.
  • Governing Bodies will have the freedom to be smaller with fewer parent governors (minimum two) and more representatives from business and professions.
  • The new Pupil Premium will provide an additional sum of money to schools for each disadvantaged child on its roll. The White Paper does not include the definition of disadvantage.
  • Schools will be free to spend this money as they choose but will have to account for how it is spent and report on the progress of the children for whom it is allocated.
  • There will be a consultation on a new National Funding Formula for schools to distribute the Dedicated Schools Grant.
  • A new agency will replace the Young People’s Learning Agency and direct money to Academies and Free Schools and all 16-19 provision. It will also pass money to LAs for distribution to non-Academy schools.
  • The additional funding that Free Schools and Academies receive is to be reviewed.
  • Funding for 16-19 year olds in sixth forms will be reduced progressively to the level received by FE colleges.
  • Local authorities will no longer be required to have a claw back mechanism for surpluses from school budgets from 2011-12 and guidance on clawback will be reviewed.
  • Obtaining the services (shared or full time) of a high quality business manager should be a priority for all governors and headteachers.
  • The DfE will work with schools and other partners to improve procurement practice in schools
  • Capital budgets have been cut by 60% and a review is underway on how the remaining money will be allocated.
  • Both primary and secondary National Curriculums will be reviewed and slimmed down to become a national benchmark of the knowledge and concepts children should be expected to master in core subjects at each key stage. It will be designed so that parents can hold schools to account for what their child has learned.
  • There will also be a review of the EYFS.
  • Academies and Free Schools will not have to follow the National Curriculum but will have to provide a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • Every school will have support for the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics, as the best method for teaching reading.
  • There will be a new national test at age 6 to check children’s ability to decode words. Results will be reported through RaiseOnline for comparative purposes. Children who are struggling will be expected to be provided with extra help.
  • Children will also be expected to master the core arithmetical functions before they leave primary school.
  • A new award – the English Baccalaureate – will be introduced to recognise children who achieve 5 good GCSEs in a broad range of subjects at GCSE. Schools will be judged on the proportion of children achieving the new award.
  • The requirement to provide PE lessons is retained, and there will be an emphasis on team sports.
  • Teachers will have flexibility on how best to provide good quality PSHE.
  • Children will be expected to be given a rich menu of cultural experience.
  • School leaving age will be raised to 17 in 2013 and 18 in 2015.
  • As well as the new national reading test at age 6, there will be a review of KS2 tests and a review of whether assessment in KS1 is appropriate and proportionate.
  • A new suite of optional tests will be developed for schools to use at the end of KS3.
  • The rules on GCSE and A-level re-sits will be changed to prevent students from re-sitting large numbers of units.
  • GCSEs will be reformed so that exams are typically taken only at the end of the course, and A level courses will be reviewed to ensure they meet the needs of universities and employers.
  • Mark schemes will take greater account of the importance of spelling, punctuation and grammar for examinations in all subjects.
  • Vocational education is under review to ensure it provides robust and appropriate qualifications.
  • Remove the requirement for 24 hours notice of after school detentions
  • New guidance will be issued to cover how teachers can use reasonable force to restrain disruptive pupils.
  • Teachers will be given the power to search pupils for any item which they reasonably believe is going to be used to cause harm to others or to break a law.
  • Teachers accused of misconduct by pupils will be given anonymity until charged and there will be no presumption that an accused teacher should be suspended.
  • Statutory guidance will be issued to extend head teachers’ powers to punish school pupils who misbehave on their way to or from school.
  • Simplified guidance will be issued on bullying, including prejudice-related incidents.
  • Behaviour and safety will be one of the four areas inspected by Ofsted.
  • Independent Appeals Panels for exclusions will be reviewed and will no longer be able to compel reinstatement.
  • Schools may be required to contribute towards the cost of additional support for the excluded pupil.
  • DfE will pilot a system where schools that exclude pupils remain responsible for their funding and achievement.
  • Pupil Referral Units will be given the same self-governing powers as community schools.
  • Consultation on changes to teachers pay and conditions to introduce more pay flexibility.
  • DfE will shorten and simplify regulations on teacher competence to remove the current duplication between the performance management and the ‘capability’ procedures for managing poor performance.
  • There will be a review of teachers’ professional standards and code of conduct.
  • DfE will abolish the General Teaching Council for England and take powers to bar teachers from the profession.
  • DfE will cease to fund PGCE courses for applicants who do not hold at least a 2:2 degree or equivalent from September 2012 and tighten the operation of the PGCE basic skills tests of literacy and numeracy to make it more rigorous
  • Teach First, a scheme that fast tracks the brightest graduates into challenging schools, will be doubled to 1,140 new entrants each year by 2015. This will include extending it across the country, and into primary schools. A similar scheme, TeachNext, will be started for career changers.
  • A ‘Troops to Teachers’ programme will be developed that will sponsor service leavers to train as teachers, including those without degrees.
  • DfE will consider a scheme to pay off the student loans of high-performing graduates in shortage and explore university scholarships for capable students who commit to entering teaching after graduation.
  • Consultation on funding of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in January.
  • SCITT and GTP programmes of school based teacher training will be expanded.
  • A national network of Teaching Schools will be created to provide a local lead for ITT and CPD, with National College providing quality assurance. Higher Education Institutions will be encouraged to partner with schools to develop a University Training School model.
  • Encourage teachers to observe and be observed by other professionals with no limit on observations.
  • Competitive national scholarships scheme for teachers to undertake intensive CPD.
  • The National Professional Qualification for Headteachers will be reviewed to focus more clearly on leadership.
  • The National Leaders of Education will be expanded to allow more outstanding heads to share their experience with other schools.
  • Children with special educational needs and disabilities: a call for views has recently closed, and the DfE will be publishing a green paper with proposals on improving the system.
  • Curriculum: the curriculum review (covering both primary and secondary) will be launched shortly. The DfE intends to publish the new curriculum in the autumn of 2012 with first teaching in September 2013.
  • Accountability: Ofsted will consult on a new framework. Subject to legislation, the new framework will come into force in autumn 2011.
  • Admissions: the DfE will consult on a simplified and less prescriptive Admissions Code.
  • Independent reviews and consultations are also ongoing on Key Stage 2 assessment and accountability, 14-19 education, and the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Summary Mind Map

January 21, 2010

Creativity….. what’s that?

Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 3:16 pm
Tags: ,
  • Creativity is the ability to find solutions to problems differently
  • Creativity is added value.
  • Creativity is thinking about perception
  • Creativity is a fluid and flexible tool
  • Creativity is to change or to flow with change.
  • Creativity is heretic
  • Creativity is disruptive
  • Creativity changes assumptions
  • Creativity kicks in doors
  • Creativity faces fear
  • Creativity destroys conformity.

    See also Kathy Berman’s post on Creativity

  • Everyone has creativity if only they would use it…..

    Filed under: Design Technology — Editor @ 8:11 am
    Tags: , , , ,

    This is from a post by Kathy Berman published on her excellent site. I would like to thank Kathy for inspiring me with this post and others on her site.

    Everyone has creativity. To get in touch with new energy in you, try one of the following exercises.

    Action board—use a large bulletin board to post 3×5 index cards for the 5 main categories of your life. You may wish to use general categories; such as goals, deadlines, dreams, etc. of be more specific, such as marketing, sales, etc. Using different colored 3×5 cards may help you to see the categories more easily. My suggestion is that you use a Mind Map which you leave displayed where you can easily see  and add to it. See an example of a review Mind Map which I created with  a friend who was going through a difficult time in their life. It enabled a clear path to be seen for the way ahead. Mind Maps give a very clear overview of what is going on and the connections between them. In this Mind Map you can clearly see that the aim was to be happy and creativity was what made the the happiness.

    Every Sunday evening or another evening of your choice, review your boards and update them for the upcoming week/month/year depending on your system. This update will go quickly and will give you a clear, concise review of where you are and where you are going. This will lead to greater confidence. Remember if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Regular reviews are vital which is why having this in a visible location is an excellent idea.

    Begin keeping a creative basket (a shoe box is another suitable container)—pretend you are 10 years old or ask a young friend and/or family member to help you. Take a large basket with a handle and put all the things in it you might enjoy using to create a new project. You may include sequins, glitter, paste, colored pens, watercolors, sketch pads. You may use these materials to play with often as way to express your creativity.

    Love Jar—collect a glass or clear plastic jar. Using bright construction paper, cut into strips. On the strips of paper, write down short suggestions for yourself of ways you can feel greater love in your life. These activities will also add new confidence skills. For example:

    • Clean out a cupboard or drawer today. Organise computer files and documents.
    • Take a warm bubble bath.
    • Explore a new lake or a nature retreat.
    • Make a list of 15 of your strengths as a Mind Map and put it in your wallet
    • Create a bulletin board of special cards others have sent to you or go to a card store and pick out 5-10 cards that you really love.
    • Make a picture wall of your favorite picture.
    • Make a recording of your favorite inspirational quotations.
    • Trade skills with a friend to explore new ways of doing things.
    • Choose a new hobby or improve on an older one.
    • Have company for dinner and create an original menu.
    • Cook or bake something today for someone else.

    Begin keeping a loose-leaf notebook I call my “life-book”. The 5×8 size is convenient. I keep everything I might need to know in the immediate future. I also keep an index-sized Rolodex but the lifebook goes everywhere with me. It is a great companion when you’re remodeling or moving. You may have a companion on your computer. Keeping a collection of images also helps when you are feeling low and lacking in creative inspiration. Spread the images out and view each one fora few seconds then pick up one or two and look carefully for a longer periods of time.

    Play is essential everyday for everyone. Plan to play everyday. The time you allot to play will repay you in increased productivity. Be sure to set time limits for play so that you don’t use play to prolong procrastination for some work you need to do. Make time to play and relax everyday!

    Inspiration v1 Tim Fulford 2009

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