Developing computer software applications for use in Design and Technology Education

2006-03-15T12:02:12Z (GMT) by Tony Hodgson
There is little doubt that design work provides a natural focus for Information Technology (IT) activities and that both profile components of National Curriculum Technology are intended to be centred upon real applications and real situations. Despite a plethora of computer software applications which might be considered relevant in the context of Design and Technology work, few are rarely designed to meet the needs of pupil learners and so it is not surprising that few are used effectively. If IT is to become an effective tool in education, there is an urgent need to consider how pupils and students learn through interaction with computer media, and ways in which the teacher’s role might be developed. These issues are quite different from, but no less important than, those considered by the software engineer, who is predominantly concerned with providing elegant program code and sophisticated program facilities. This paper discusses how these two sets of, often contradictory, matters may be corporately considered to provide more effective software design. In particular, it considers how research, development and evaluation, concerned with computer applications, might take more effective account of educationalists’ views, teachers’ requirements and pupils’ needs.