The teachers all agreed they now operated as a team instead of working in isolation. Previously their meeting discussions had often revolved around budgets, time constraints, and student management issues. Now their discussions were about technology, technological practice, and what worked well in their classroom.
Russell reported he now finds the classroom work more satisfying. "I find it more challenging and the students find it more challenging. It's not like the old days when I'd say 'We're going to make a pencil box. We'll make it this length, and we'll all do this and all do that.' It's about problem-solving and it's meeting the needs of the students rather than just what the teacher wants to do".
Sue voiced the thoughts of all the technology team in "wondering how it was ever going to work" when the group first started their work on their local curriculum. "It has taken a lot of thinking, discussion, assimilation, and also give and take over the last few years but the ongoing PLD and the collegial support have made this journey successful."
Everyone reported their students had more pride in what they're doing. The students had an increased ownership of their learning because they were creating something instead of being told what to do. In the past students focused on their outcomes. Now they were also excited about the process, the problem-solving, and the feeling of self-worth they experienced through their work.
Year 8 students had the confidence to discuss technology, rather than just the skills they have learnt in a particular classroom.
In late term 1, Paula commented, "My year 7s, who have moved on from Russell, are confident with the words they use... 'Oh, a conceptual statement is....' It's like part of their language now; it's obviously cementing in their first rotation and being added to as they go around".
Celebrating their achievements doesn't mean the team's work has finished. They still have challenges and continue to work to improve their delivery of the learning.
The workbooks were a great success. They needed small changes. The teachers thought about adding the relevant component at the bottom of each page so that students can see exactly where they are in their technological process.
The team is looking at more community links after the success of the play to clay project. The year 8 students went on to create art for a community steampunk art exhibition. A possible year 8 food technology programme of learning could see students working with a local cheese company.
The team is keen to work on progression between primary, intermediate, and secondary schooling. Sue has visited Oamaru secondary schools to share her programme and to look at what their art teachers were doing, and has talked to one of the technology teachers at Waitaki Boys' High School. She notes this is difficult with everyone being busy.