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Technology Education Class

location_on Oulu, Finland

A Model of Project-Based Learning to Understand the Increasingly Technological World

In the Technology Education Class, students learn about everyday technology by doing things themselves and experimenting with project learning. Technology skills are modern craftmanship skills that can also be used for creative expression.

Finland 100

Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100

2015

Established

-

Children/users

1

Countries
Updated
November 22nd, 2022
You’ll be hearing from my inventions!
A 10-year-old student

About the innovation

What is it all about?

Schools must give students the skills and knowledge they need to be able to influence their future. The Technology Education Class supports students’ technological literacy, i.e. understanding how the world around us is constructed from a technological point of view.

The Technology Education Class is a model suitable for different grade levels, where the projects form a consistent thread for learning. It is a pedagogical continuum that combines subjects in a meaningful way. Projects may sometimes continue from one grade to another, evolving along the way with students’ skills.

The projects are carried out as part of everyday school life, from everyday technology perspectives. The active role of students in building knowledge and collaborating is essential.

During the school year, teaching in Technology Education Class is built around four multidisciplinary learning units:

- everyday technology
- robotics and automation
- product design and entrepreneurship
- games and programming

The Technology Education Class requires a versatile learning environment, including a workshop space and a digital working environment. The technology-oriented classroom includes space, time, tools and materials for working with your hands, experimenting as well as creativity and design stemming from everyday problems.

Experts from local companies and educational establishments always play a role in the projects. Their role is to share their know-how with the students.

The operating model is extensive and therefore its adoption requires longer term work. The steps below offer guidelines for experimenting with the model, using everyday technology as an example. If you feel that the model is something you would like try out, be sure to contact us!

The Technology Education Class model was developed in Oulu at Rajakylä School, where developing began in 2012. At present, this model for teachers with technology-oriented teacher training is also being applied in junior high schools. In addition, in the fall of 2017, the thirteen new locations began testing the model.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

Innovativeness

The innovation supports learning by creating a smart continuum utilizing cross-curricular project work.

Impact

The knowledge and skills for utilizing programming, robotics and construction are improved, all the while raising team spirit.

Scalability

Implementing the innovation requires investments from the school. The field of the visiting experts and contents of the projects can be customized depending on the educational environment.

Media

Steps

Getting acquainted with the Technology Education Building Blocks
The Technology Education Building Blocks explain the pedagogy and content behind the model. The Building Blocks explain the pedagogy and content of all four learning units.

Example: Technology in everyday life

The “Technology in everyday life” is one of four units, aiming at technological literacy. Over a period of four years, with the help of the project, students learn about electricity, traffic, building technology, architecture, modeling and home appliances.

Selecting a project
Choose the most appropriate learning unit, or part of it, for your class. These include: 1. everyday technology, 2. robotics and automation, 3. product design and entrepreneurship, and 4. games and programming.

The easiest way for the teacher to start depends on the their competences and the grade level they are teaching. There are many good project possibilities, but in particular product design and entrepreneurship have been found to be a very effective combination: the students have been very excited and collaborations with external parties have worked well.

The learning units are designed individually for each class so that they can form a long-term continuum lasting several years, and the skills being learned are based on prior knowledge. 

Learning units can continue from one year to another, for example, by studying simple structures and mechanisms as part of a single project in third grade. In fourth grade, students explore vehicles and their functions, such as movement, power transmission and friction. In fifth grade students build a house into a miniature city model using laser cutters and electricity.

Example: Technology in everyday life

Students can proceed, for example, with the following miniature city model from one year to another.
 
Ages 9–10

The project focuses on exploring city infrastructure and its simple mechanisms. Additionally, a miniature bridge model project is carried out in class, which studies the structure and strength of the different types of bridges. 

Ages 10–11

In fourth grade, the city project explores motion, power transmission and friction. A vehicle project is added to the city. Vehicles are made, for example, by using crafts and materials found in the class workshop or 3D printers.

Ages 11–12

A house project is added to the city. The house is made with a laser cutter, and an electrical system is also built inside it.

Ages 12–13

The city project expands to reflect on different equipment and their functionalities. Students familiarize themselves with home appliances by taking them apart, examining their functions and modeling them.

Planning class-specific goals
Think about the goals you will set – that is, which school curriculum content can be combined with the project.

The Technology Class Building Blocks offer examples on which educational content has been has been combined with each project at Rajakylä School.

For example, in third grade the Technology in everyday life unit has combined different subjects, such as arts and maths, and the content has been planned to meet transversal competence objectives.

  • Multiliteracy
  • ICT skills
  • working life skills and entrepreneurship
  • participation, influencing and building a sustainable future

Example: Technology in everyday life

Ensimmäisessä stepissä esitellyt eri ikäryhmien projektit tukevat seuraavia oppiaineintegraatioita ja laaja-alaisempia kokonaisuuksia. 

The projects of the different age groups presented in the first step will support the following curriculum objectives.

Ages 9–12

  • Multidisciplinarity: arts, maths, environmental studies, crafts
  • Transversal competences: multiliteracy, ICT skills, working life skills and entrepreneurship as well as participation, influencing and building a sustainable future

 
Ages 12–13

  • Multidisciplinarity: arts, maths, environmental studies, crafts
  • Transversal competences: multiliteracy, ICT skills, working life skills and entrepreneurship 
Inviting an expert from a local company or educational establishment to your school
Each project includes an expert visit, which aims to to attach a topic into real-life experience. An expert may be, for example, a visitor associated with a theme from a local company.

Example: Technology in everyday life

The projects of the different age groups presented in the first step can benefit, for example, from the following types of visitors.

Ages 9–10

  • A construction engineer

 
Ages 10–11

  • A car mechanic

 
Ages 11–12

  • An urban planning architect

 
Ages 12–13

  • An electrical engineer
Establishing a technology-oriented class
If you feel this model was for you, ask management for permission to establish a technology-oriented class and contact the Rajakylä School technology team and get started with your class.

Also be sure to network with local actors.

Spread of the innovation

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