Your PERSONAL invite to join the TechED Forum

About a year and a half ago I got REALLY frustrated, I am a member of the IIATE, subscriber of ESNET and TEANSW email groups, I use twitter, I blog/read others, I connect with teachers at TeachMeet, I share and always find obliging people who help in return.

BUT I selfishly wanted just ONE place where I could go to and ask subject specific information, I found I would trawl the interweb for hours?? . . . looking for THAT Stage 5 Industrial Tech Timber resource?? As a sweeping generalisation I have found that subject specific TAS resources such as: suppliers? materials? and process tutorials are harder to come by online, so with the help of some friends I created the “TechEd Forum”:

TechED Forum

I am not a computing teacher, and although I am competent in using technology I really stretched my technical expertise in getting this to work, and could NOT have done it without the help of my friend’s Husband Jeremy. The graphics and “logo” was designed by an ex-student now studying graphics, he decided the forum logo should “visually promote communication”, the forum now that it is set up is easy to manage, and doesn’t cost me a cent!

But, what this forum REALLY needs to prosper and run are MORE PARTICIPATING MEMBERS!! 

There are questions in many of the forum topics ASKING for assistance and advice, others OFFERING to share assessments and resources. I know that many of us use Edmodo, Twitter and TeachMeets to resource and crowd share, but the aim for this space was a very different one – to create subject specific discussion areas that can house documents, links, contact details, that could be referred back to categorically and easily. Does this sound useful?

You're invited!

You’re invited!


It doesn’t matter if you work in Tasmania, a primary school or TAFE, which sector of education you come from or if you are still studying – you still have something to contribute. The forum is free, it doesn’t cost me a cent to run- and therefore won’t cost you either. I hope that by joining you benefit from the space how it was intended. If you have any ideas for how forum could improve- let me know!


Using Pinterest in my classroom

A super bookmarking tool – I use it to collect bookmarks together of videos, links and online resources for units of work – each unit of work has a separate “board” – frequently I share these with students!

There are LOADS of ideas and resources on there already, so it can be as easy as creating your own board, then “re-pinning” other peoples pins from the search bar OR from people you follow.

I use the Pin it to Pinterest tool – this is an add-on to my chrome browser (found here: – new pins are added without signing into pinterest! – TOO EASY!


I RSS feed pins from relevant boards to my Edmodo groups – my DT class get pins from my “innovations and clever design” board, whilst my timber class get “project ideas” – – – see instructions on EDMODO RSS feeds here – – ->

The best bit is that no matter what device you are on, you have access to your bookmarks!!

Yvonne Dixon (a UK teacher) was the FIRST person I started to follow – her boards are FULL of info and a great example of how it works for education:


OR Julie Boyd’s design and technology/textiles boards – – – >

AND. . . Thank you Jeanette James for initially introducing the idea to me!! 🙂

Reinvigorating the old? Nah, change is WAY better!!

We all have those topics/units that run year to year and dont change. We feel comfortable in teaching them- we are experts in their content. But seriously, after teaching year 8 “satin boxer-shorts” for the hundredth time, the thought of another elastic casing almost made me wanna vomit. AS a staff we discussed ways to adapt and modify the unit . . . but, in the end the WHOLE LOT got a re-write! 

So, the NEW design situation and brief reads:

Design Situation-

You are a designer working for an accessory company and have been asked to design a new range of tech-bags that hold and protect a range of technological devices and hardware.

Design Brief-

Design and produce a laptop bag that employs natural textile materials including plant

and animal fibres in its construction and decoration that could be included in this range.  


Programming this unit has been an enjoyable collaborative process with staff in the English faculty teaching TAS staff hand felting processes and experienced textiles teachers showing me BETTER ways of finishing the project and sharing resources.

The unit runs under the ANIMAL PRODUCTION context area, and uses TEXTILES TECHNOLOGIES to produce a laptop sleeve. The unit has a digital “TEXT” that will eventually run through itunesU when ipads flow through next year.

I have attached the PROGRAM, BOOKLET, TEXT and ASSESSMENT . . . would love your feedback or any other resources that you think could be added!!






What can YOU do with a piece of fabric? . . .or a length of timber?

What can YOU do with a piece of fabric?

My fave part of teaching in a practical course is watching students transform their fabric/timber into items of soft furnishings, clothing, toys or timber products, decorating them to their individual tastes and styles and employing skills and processes learnt in technology units.


This is only a quick post, but I wanted to collate some of the extraordinary and creative work Gilroy students have done in my classes- and as you can see from the images, even though they work to a design brief and with constraints their final outcomes are unique and demonstrate some clever use of recycled materials and processes.


Projects pictured include:

  • Year 7 textiles technology – interior design/cushion
  • Year 7 mixed materials technology – product/light design
  • Year 9 Industrial Technology -timber: treasure chest
  •  . . . and a whole heap of random pics 🙂


What an awesome year it has been !!!

IMG_3786 IMG_3733 IMG_3726 IMG_3724 IMG_3699 IMG_3648 IMG_3647 IMG_9570 IMG_9552 IMG_9541 IMG_9540 IMG_9536 IMG_3523 IMG_3275 IMG_3274 IMG_3273 IMG_3082 IMG_3059 IMG_2658 IMG_2657 IMG_2470 IMG_2413 IMG_2350 IMG_2349 IMG_2065 IMG_2064






First world problems- buying jeans, and being short! . . . turning flares into straight leg jeans



First problem- I bought jeans that were too long, they were $29.95 with an extra 50% off, I couldn’t resist the bargain and set about hemming them this evening. . .

THEN!!! As soon as I cut them to the correct length I wasn’t happy, being a flared leg I had cut them off at the widest point making me look shorter. Not cool.

Solution!!! Makes into a straight cut by slimming down the leg width, here is how I did it:

1. Use another pair of pants as a guide, this saved me so much time! Use a fabric marker to etch a gradual line from the OUTSIDE LEG SEAM ( this is important, because the inner leg seam is normally top stitched for strength)

2. Pin, and then sew a straight stitch at a stitch length of 4( this will enable easy unpicking if needed) – turn inside out and try on. If it is not slim enough, re sew next to existing stitches, no need to unpick unless it is too tight.

3. If it is correct, adjust stitch length to 2, and sew alongside the inside of existing stitches- this will reinforce the new seam.

4. Trim back excess and trace onto other leg, repeat!

5. Sew edges with a blanket type stitch or overlock to prevent fraying.