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  • Question

    Can you explain to me what students should consider in fitness for purpose in its broadest sense in a programming context?


    An answer to this question has been posted in the Ask an Expert facility.

    See: Search result for Fitness for purpose digital technologies

    The resource Top scholar 2016: A monitoring system for the Orokonui Ecosanctuary includes a discussion of fitness for purpose in its broadest sense as applied to this project which included programming.

  • Question

    I have been asked by another teacher to clarify ways in which fabrics/textiles can be used as examples of Technological Systems. Can the development of a patchwork quilt be considered a system – with inputs of fabric pieces, wadding and backing transformed into the final patchwork quilt design?


    A technological system within the Technology learning area is generally defined as a system that works independently or automatically of human input. After the system has been started or switched on it works automatically. A clock on the wall is a good example of a technological system. It works independently of human input once the batteries are put in and it is switched on. Humans are not required to turn the actual handles of the clock, it’s doing the turning of the hands of the clock by itself. Other examples commonly used are toasters, stoves, hot water systems, and electronic systems generally.

    The development of the patchwork quilt would not be considered a system. However, technological systems can be embedded in textile products.

    Here is an example of a quilt that includes a lighting system (a technological system):

    Here is an example of a simple interactive quilt with multiple sensors:

    Some textile teachers will also support students to add electronic lighting systems to wearable art products.

    Here is an example of a dress that has a technological system embedded in it that allows the butterflies to fly off the dress:

    There is also mention of embedding circuits in textiles in this video clip:

    Technological systems such as body sensors may also be added to clothing. This is very prevalent with military clothing. See The Rise of Smart Clothing and Body Sensors for Military Use.

    There are various courses available for textiles teachers to learn about embedding soft circuits in textiles such as E-Textile and soft circuit design workshop.

  • Question

    Are there any articles that I can read that explain the link between teaching Technology and incorporating the teaching of literacy and numeracy?


    Here are some resources on Technology Online that may help.

  • Question

    In regards to AS 91621 complex procedures I'm looking for some clarification as to how many complex procedures a garment should have? I have a few students who have designed a sweatshirt with a front kangaroo pocket. The pocket requires iron on fusing to stabilise its two openings and top stitching to hem the opening edges. We will be experimenting with twin stitching and cover seaming for this pocket. Would this be of sufficient rigour for the student to qualify as implementing complex procedures or would the garment require more procedures? Many thanks.


    The standard requires students to have at least two complex procedures from the list indicated in EN3. Patched Kangaroo pockets is equivalent to patched pockets, which is below a level 2 skill. However, students could develop a welt/side pocket type kangaroo pocket, constructed using two different materials (a step up from level 2). To stabilise the garment, before the insertion of the welt and pocket, students could trial various types of interfacing and methods of applying interfacing. This would meet the requirements of a second complex procedure as indicated in EN3.

  • Question

    I am reading through the resource for AS 91096 – making basic adaptions to a pattern. I was wondering – you talk about a toile, but are students required to make a final product, or a finished product? Or do they just make a toile or mock up to show the pattern adaptions?


    A toile is a fully finished garment that reflects the style and measurements of the user, but made with cheap materials. The final product will be constructed to the style and measurements of the toile but with the actual material selected to make this product.

    The purpose of the toile is to realise the 2D changes made into 3D so that the pattern adaptations can be tested and perfected.

    This process often requires student to undertake ongoing testing of the garment and note changes on the original pattern. For example, the student may make a sleeve and test for fitting on the user. The different parts would finally be sewn together and final fitting tests made.

    This iterative process also involves making ongoing changes on the pattern’s construction guide. Students are expected to add and remove instructions to reflect the construction details and order of construction of the toile.

  • Question

    Over a two year period how many curriculum strands have to be covered and how often?


    There is currently no requirement for particular strands to be covered, however the aim of technology education is for students to develop “a broad technological literacy” – to gain skills, knowledge, and understanding that will enable them to thoughtfully live with, critique, and contribute to the technological developments that shape our lives.

    Technologically literate young people:

    • have a broad understanding of how and why things work
    • understand how technological products and technological systems are developed
    • can critically evaluate technological developments and trends
    • can design and evaluate their own solutions in response to needs and opportunities.

    Like any other literacy, technological literacy is developed by exposure to a wide range of relevant experiences over time. The three strands of the technology curriculum – technological practice, technological knowledge, and the nature of technology – are designed to facilitate this.

    So your’e teaching technology in module 4 notes that experience suggests in years 7–10, the eight components should be covered in two two-year programmes (years 7–8 and 9–10).

  • Question

    Hi I am a horticultural science teacher and I am looking at trying to bring in some more value-added learning into the course. Unfortunately, most of the ag/hort standards are limited to the farm gate i.e. primary products, so we can’t look at how value is added to products once they are produced. The standard AS 91643 caught my eye. We currently do an investigation on attributes of apples and I am looking at how value can be added by turning the juice into a flavoured cider. The Head of Technology is concerned that cider production might not have the complexity and depth of processing required for a level 3 tech standard. The process I am looking at with my students is roughly as follows. • Inoculate nutrient broth with yeast (student selected) and culture until cell count reaches desired level • Juice apples (students select varieties, quantities and ratios for desired flavour profile). • Pour must and sugar (sugar type and quantities determined by students to reach final alcohol concentration/flavour). Acid levels can also be adjusted here with malic acid. • Oxygenate must • Add oak chips/brewed tea • Add cultured yeast broth • Ferment at set temperature. Temperature may need to be controlled using heating pads) • Determine when fermentation has been completed (determined by hydrometer) • Flavouring added depending on the flavouring this can also be added midway through fermentation, the flavouring will be made by the students • Back sweeten with nonfermentable sugar to desired level • Bottle prime with priming sugar. I see plenty of opportunities for feedback loops, cell counts, original gravity, final gravity, back sweetening, fermentation temperature. Is this method complex enough to satisfy the requirements of this standard? It has both subjective testing and objective testing, taste tests, as well as OG, FG, brix levels, acid levels, temperature, masses. I see in the standard that their method needs to be repeatable. Is having the students produce two batches sufficient and comparing the outputs based on flavour, colour, alcohol levels etc okay? When calculating costs, do students only look at variable costs or do we need to take fixed costs into consideration? Would this process meet the requirements of the standard? Cheers


    It is important to consider the ethics of developing an alcoholic product in a school environment in a general sense as well as the procedures around sensory testing of alcohol. The processing of the cider would meet the requirements of complex procedures if further emphasis is placed on the way the techniques and processes are selected for final implementation.

    One of the step ups to level 3 in the processing standards is that the student is required to select their own techniques and processing operations, including tests, and sequence these in an order (create the flow diagram). At level 2, the techniques and processing operations maybe provided by the teacher, but the students are required to sequence them (flow diagram). To meet the requirements of the standard students, need to do more than just follow a standard method. The specifications must clearly define the expected outcome. These could include but are not limited to quantity to be produced, sensory attributes such as sweetness, colour, alcohol content, density (concentration), fermentation requirements, etc. Specifications for the finished cider would need to be developed to allow for the selection of a method, ingredients and the type of testing during processing to have a meaningful impact on the decision-making process. specified before the students begin to establish the process. Trialling should occur and adjustments also be made to the amount of ingredients to produce the desired yield (calculate yield). Calculation of actual costs should be carried out as per explanatory note 9 within the standard.

    If the students produce their cider twice by following their flow diagram (including processing techniques and tests) and then compare the results with their specifications, then they meet the requirements for replicate measurements. This will play a key role in determining whether they have produced an accurate outcome, as required for achievement at merit. Other requirements for achievement at merit include students showing independence as they go about determining their process, and comparing actual cost with predicted cost. Independence is described in the TKI assessment resources.

  • Question

    A teacher at our school teaches both a Construction course assessed using Unit Standards and a Multi Materials course using Achievement Standards. The teacher would like to increase the complexity of the technological outcomes being produced for the students who are doing both courses by using the same outcomes in each course. To clarify, for the unit standards they have to manufacture 3 outcomes and their assessment is workbook based. Could those three outcomes also be used as the context for the achievement standards? E.g. conceptual design, brief, prototype? The idea being that the students are not manufacturing more than required and that they could use the time they have available in both courses to create more complex outcomes. I am of the belief that this should not be an issue since the assessments in each course cover different skills and aspects of the design and manufacturing process.


    The intent of the listed unit standards is different to the generic technology standards being considered for assessment purposes. Therefore, there is no issue regarding duplication of assessment. However, the BCATs standards would probably be appropriate to use as assessment tools during the construction phase such as prototyping and/or constructing the outcome. The evidence for the BCATs standards could drop out of the achievement standards. Unit standard (US)12927 and US 25330 could align with AS 91357 and US 24354 and US 24350 could align with AS 91344. The combinations will also depend on the nature of the student’s projects. If existing BCAT’s projects are used, then the assessor needs to ensure that students projects meet the advanced technique criteria of AS 91344. This maybe a good way to offer differentiated assessment to cater for everyone in the class.

  • Question

    Hi there, I'm a new teacher this year. I'm doing the Construction and Mechanical Technologies 2.21; Implement advanced procedures using textile materials to make a specified product with special features with my level 2 students. Can I use Applique and Needle Felting as advanced procedures? One student is doing Nuno felting with a complex blanket stitch - can the blanket stitch be counted as the 2nd advanced technique (it is embroidery). Thanks in advance for your help.


    The standard defines special features and advanced procedures in the standard as per the explanatory notes below:

    Ex 7 Special features are those that rely on the application of advanced skills. These include but are not limited to: style features, such as set in sleeve, fly front, tailored collars and cuffs, welt pockets and/or decorative features such as pin tucking, embroidery, and shirring and/or structural features such as 3D felting and combining different fibres in felting and different materials eg nuno felting. 

    Ex 5 Advanced procedures are those that require advanced skills and the student to select and perform techniques that need scheduling to achieve the special features. 

    All 4 of the techniques are advanced and meet the requirements for the standard. Nuno felting is considered a special feature as it requires the application of advanced features as described in explanatory note 7. The complex blanket stitch could be considered a separate decorative feature. Applique and needle felting would each be considered separate decorative features. 

    In both instances the student would need to provide evidence that they have selected and scheduled the techniques (applied in a certain order) to ensure that they achieved the special features. 

    Students need to select an appropriate technique to use. There may be a variety of ways in which a technique could be applied. This could be done by trialing. Other selection processes such as researching, considering existing experience and skill level and advice from experts could also be used. 

    For scheduling, they should decide what is the best stage of construction to apply these to the garment bag to achieve a quality outcome. They will also need to determine an order in which they will carry out the techniques for their special features –that is nuno felting, needle felting, applying the complex blanket stitch and applique.

  • Question

    Hi there, I am just wondering is it o.k for 1.61- Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts used in processing, to use the concept of custards. Students will be given 4 different types of custard to compare and contrast Soft Custards: Creme Anglaise Baked Custards: Crème Brûlée Starch Thickened Custards: pudding Gelatin Set custards: Bavarian Thank you


    Custards would be a suitable food product to explore to develop the understandings required for AS 91083 (1.61) Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts used in processing. Students should explore a range of processing operations testing techniques and appropriate safety procedures in processing. It is important to note that the focus of this standard is on the processing and associated testing in making a product and not on the effect that changing ingredients has on the type of product produced. All 4 processing operations must be covered as outlined in explanatory note 4.

    Here are some examples (not an exhaustive list, you and your students will think of others) of custard processing that the students could explore in the 4 operations categories. Each of these techniques will have associated testing:

    one or more of – measuring, shaping, or finishing

    • measuring quantities of ingredients, testing temperature (for both heating and cooling),
    • volume and shape of baking and setting containers to ensure a typical product
    • storage techniques to prevent skin formation on crème anglaise
    • finishing techniques for crème caramel (e.g. blow torch, or using the oven grill)

    one or more of – containment, contamination prevention, or disposal:

    • food safety techniques to prevent contamination when making the various custard types

    one or more of – mixing, extracting, separating, or growing:

    • processing techniques and how these create the different types of custards and their attributes
    • processing techniques to ensure prevention of curdling in different custards

    one or more of – heating, cooling, or reacting

    • heating and cooling techniques used for the different types of custards and how they ensure a typical product
    • the reaction between ingredients to thicken or set the custard

    Testing in food processing provides guidance to help students to understand testing in a classroom environment. This resource highlights the type of qualities that food technologists could identify and test for when processing products.

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