Conclusion and evaluation

Overall, I have found that this module has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. It has definitely made me think outside the box as a graphic designer and shaped potential future ideas that i have within my subject area. I have learnt so many different skills during this experience that i will use both within my everyday life and my practice to achieve my full potential. This module has encouraged me to grow and approach situations with new ideas that are transferable and relatable to my course and given me a deeper understanding of transdisciplinarity within field in a context outside of my normal practice.

At the beginning of this module I was incredibly apprehensive and nervous about the whole experience and was unsure that I would come out of it the other end with anything valuable to me in the future. Initially, i found that the thing that stressed me out the most about this module was the lack of communication between the school and uni and having to figure out what i was doing for myself in an unfamiliar place was a challenge for me. Having planned potential ideas about what i could teach in art and design over christmas made the fact that i was in design and technology and massive shock to the system that i wasn’t expecting. From having the teaching seminar where we found out what schools we were at one day to actually being in schools the next meant that I had little time to prepare. Alongside this, I didn’t find the first seminar particularly helpful either, if anything it stressed me out more because we weren’t talked through what the learning outcomes were or the mark scheme and were just given a load of paperwork that we didn’t know what to do with.

The first week at school was a massive milestone for me. Being a generally nervous person meant that i didn’t like being outside my comfort zone and although I try to push myself to try new things to get over my permanent fear of almost everything, i feel like i may have pushed too far with this module. The first day felt like i was in a living nightmare. Trying to figure out how to actually get to the school and meeting the teachers and students made me feel incredibly scared and sick and im so thankful that I got put with a fellow student who i was familiar with as personally I dont think I would have got through this experience without her and I would have probably switched modules.

Not having a Design and technology back ground meant that this would be a very interesting experience. Although the first week was a bit confusing as i didn’t know what i was doing or how i would teach design and technology, once i calmed down and actually thought about it everything fell into place. The school was absolutely amazing in supporting us and helping us figure out what we could teach. I think that the head of department picked up that we were both very nervous and made us feel better and said that we could go at our own pace. This allowed us time to settle in and get more comfortable with the department and familiarize ourselves with the school routine and time table and the different lessons taking place. After a lot of head scratching and confusion, we decided to focus our teaching towards the year 7 CAD project. They used 2D design to created their phone holder designs and the had them cut out on the lazer cutter and bent the acrylic into shape using the heat strip. In comparison to the other years, this project was really straight forward which allowed us to make our own examples and quickly work through the project to stay one step ahead of the pupils. Although we did observe and help out with other years, It was agreed that some of the project were too complex and coming from a Graphics background i may have been a bit out of my depth which would have made it hard to stay one step head. The years in upper school were focused on GCSE’s and exams and i felt like i couldn’t help them with much because they knew more about it then we did and i didn’t want to waste their time!

This experience has meant that I have had to adapt to a whole new format and style of working. Learning alongside the pupils was an interesting experience, Because i was learning things at the same time as them it was interesting to see how some pupils just didn’t understand it and how others got on with their work – you could clearly see who had listened! Although 2D design was a simple concept to grasp, it looks really outdated and isn’t a particularly nice software to use, and i found that the pupils really struggled with it and the computers and sometimes had some technical issues which was frustrating. Another thing i noticed which was quite upsetting was the lack of creativity within their work! because this project was skills and making based, it was interesting to see in my reflections and lesson plans how i could bring creative elements into the lessons to inspire the pupils.

Although I didn’t get an opportunity to actually teach, I can safely say that I dont think i want to be a teacher. I really enjoyed helping the students on a more informal level and i think it improved my communication skills so i think if i did find that i wanted to  down a teaching route i feel like being a teaching assistant would be the way forward. Bonding with the pupils was a very important element within this module as i found that the more you spoke to them and listened, the more the respected you and in turn got more work done. Its unclear as to weather i would have the same thoughts and opinions on teaching now as i would if i had been teaching a Graphics class, and although this would be an interesting opportunity i am happy with this module and proud of the progress both i and the pupils have made during my time at the school.

Presentation evaluation and reflection

Overall I felt like my presentation went well, I covered most of the areas I wanted to, however I was really tight for time. I only managed to get through 3 of my slides on my presentation due to time restrictions which is a bit of a shame. I also found that I didn’t really cover some of the main points i wanted to talk about, i didnt really get to talk about the year 7 projects as a whole, reflect much on the teaching that was delivered, talk about the projects different year groups were creating and look at cad skills throughout the years which were some of my main points to cover. Although I did practice what I was going to say and how i was going to say it beforehand, time went so quickly once i was up there presenting. I also found that I really centered the presentation around me and my learning experience from this module and although this was good reflection, i felt like i needed to balance it out with some of the pupils works too.

After being really prepared for my presentation, I still found that my nerves get the better of me whilst waiting and it made me feel quite sick. Perhaps a way to over come this would be to suggest presenting first which is something ill take into consideration when delivering another verbal presentation. Although the posters were useful to do and have as a physical piece of evidence of my experience, i didn’t feel like i utilized them at all in my presentation so if i was to do it again this would be another element i would like to focus on. It was really interesting to see the difference in atmosphere between our presentations in the glass box and the presentations in the graphics rooms. I feel like working in a light, open space with only a few people really helped my confidence and helped me deliver the presentation in comparison to the graphics presentations that i saw which looked very dark and intense.

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Noughts and Crosses

For this short 1 week book cover project, I have decided to to look at Noughts and Crosses. Being a relatively unenthusiastic reader, I wanted to focus on the book that caught my attention the most from reading the first 50 pages. Noughts and  crosses is a young adult fiction novel written by Malorie Blackman. It takes place in an alternate universe, with ideas taken from the real world. It is believed that the novel is set in the 1960’s, but had included technology from the 1980’s. Racism was a big problem in the 1960’s  but the idea around it had been flipped so that the darker skinned people (The crosses) were superior and the paler skinned people (The noughts)  were inferior. The novel is base around a Cross, Persephone (Sephy) and a nought, Callum, who find themselves in a forbidden love. Being friends since early childhood, they try an fight against the social system and a back ground of prejudice and distrust. Much like romeo and Juliet, it ends in tragedy leading both of them into terrible danger.

Characters

  • Persephone (sephy) – daughter of a powerful cross, Kamal Hadley. Her and callum were childhood best friends, and eventually fall in love. After losing contact with callum and being kidnapped by him, they rekindle their love and she falls pregnant.
  • Callum – A nought who is best friends and later lovers with Sephy. He is one of the few noughts to get into Sephy’s elite school and later on in the novel work for the LM and helps them kidnap sephy. Callum is the father of Sephy’s child, but he is hanged.
  • Jude McGregor – Callum’s older brother, who holds a grudge against Sephy, who he believes to be responsible for his brother’s death. He hates all crosses and is also a member of the LM
  • Jasmine Hadley – Sephy and Minerva’s mother, who became an alcoholic.
  • Kamal Hadley – the father of sephy, very powerful cross politician.
  • Minerva “Minnie” Hadley: Sephy’s older sister.
  • Lynette McGregor: Callum’s older sister, She eventually commits suicide by stepping out in front of a bus.
  • Ryan McGregor: Callum’s father, who is killed trying to escape from prison after the bombing.
  • Meggie McGregor: Callum’s mother. Throughout the series, her husband dies in trying to escaping from prison, her daughter commits suicide because of mental illness, her younger son is publicly hanged and her older son is blown up in a suicide attempt by her former friend.

 

Themes

There are two prominent themes within this book, racial injustice and love. The book is based on these two ideas and focuses heavily on the consequences of them.

• Racism – noughts and Crosses call each other “Blankers” and “Daggers” and despise each other. They are put in separate education systems and there is a clear social divide between them.
• Violence – a very persistent theme throughout the book.
• Discrimination – This is because Crosses are the dominant race, and treat noughts poorly as they are the underclass citizens of Pangaea. Discrimination relates to the theme racism, as the Crosses treat noughts poorly because of the colour of their skin.
• Friendship – between sephy and callum, able to stay friends despite disobeying the rules of society.
• Courage – main characters have courage to go against society.
• Betrayal – evident towards end of the novel.

 

Although i only read the first 50 pages or so before this project, i intend to keep ready the whole way through as so far this novel has captured me. Its well written and easy to follow which for me makes it a much more enjoyable read. I feel like the strong themes within this book will be really interesting to work with, especially when trying to represent it visually and i will hopefully be able to capture the main essence of the story, although it will be difficult to visualize and create something fresh due to the racial themes.

 

 

Lesson Plans

Because I didn’t actually get round to teaching during this module, creating a lesson plan was incredibly difficult. I decided to focus on two lesson plans, one based off one of the first year 7 lazy tv classes that i saw, and one with improvement to that lesson, making it my dream lesson. I really wanted to put an emphasis on how the project was lacking in creativity and wanted to introduce creativity to the lesson plan.

(LP) introduction to vectorising and contouring lesson plan

(LP) dream lesson plan

Teaching seminar – 12/02/2018

Today teaching seminar was mainly based on preparation for our presentations. The first thing we did was have a discussion about how our last week went and what we had achieved at schools and our overall experience. It was nice to be able to go into uni and tell everyone about the things I had done this week because this week we actually managed to make our phone holders and also do a demonstration in front of the pupils. Although we didn’t actually teach a lesson, this was still a big step for me and i was quite proud of myself for putting myself in that kind of situation with such a successful outcome. After a group discussion about our experiences, we then had a chat about the presentations and deliverable’s for the module. The previous week we had been sent an email about not needing to do 2 posters anymore because some people couldn’t use photoshop, however by the time the email had come out, i’d already done both my posters. We were given the option to either present with our posters or a power point, however i think im going to do both so i can plan what im going to say with my power point and ensure that my presentation is in the right order, using it as a prompt.

The presentation is going to be a fairly open style presentation and must include the following:

  • over view of work weve been doing and examples
  • talk about structure of teaching
  • how we could improve the lessons
  • back ground of school
  • structure of department and staff
  • project that we’ve worked on – range of year 7, why they were taught the project
  • reflect on the teaching that was delivered
  • critically reflective
  • impact it has on my work and will have on future courses.
  • working with other adults, support, how effect flow of lesson
  • skill comparison between years
  • difference between upper and lower, standards and what they were being taught
  • pupils attitude towards us & how we impacted them

Although i am feeling a little bit apprehensive towards the presentation, i feel like ill be able to highlight these areas because i feel like i have a lot to talk about. My one concern is that i may end up running over the 5 minute time limit so i will need to practice in preparation.

The rest of the day was spent having one to ones with the tutors and raising any questions or concerns we had. I was then given the opportunity to have my posters checked and get them printed by the uni technician. The posters came out really well, however i wish i’d have had a bit more time to think about the layout of my posters and come up with something that looked a bit more graphically eye catching.

 

Phone holder outcomes

This module has been challenging for me because im working in a medium that i have never used before. After deciding on what we were going to teach at the school, I then needed to work through the project myself so that I could help others and gather knowledge to pass on. One thing I was shocked about was that the school didn’t use Photoshop or any of the adobe creative cloud suite. Instead they used 2D design which was an easier, simplistic version. Before I could help anyone else, i needed to get used to the software myself. After receiving a copy of the software from uni, I could pay with all the different tools and figure out how it worked.  After a brief play i had on the software at school during the first week, i felt like i needed to produce something that was more then images so i created some templates that i could use in my demonstration. I tried to do a variety of different designs, from simplistic to a bit more complex, creating a rang of phone holders with different skill levels covering a variety of topics. I didn’t want my designs to look too girly or too boy-ish so i tried to mix it up a bit so that when using them as examples and demonstrations, there will be something for everyone.

Lazy Tv designs sheet 1

Although the actual making of the designs didn’t take too long, finding the appropriate images was. Because im used to drawing everything out by hand before i create something, this was a new challenge to me as i had to think about my design without any other references. I also found it challenging, especially on the bottom 5 to find different images that went together and didn’t look too odd. After creating my templates over the weekend, I then began to stress out when I arrived at my teaching seminar on Monday. Because i’d had quite a bit of time off, i had no images of any of the pupils work and no experience with a strip heater and how to use it in preparation for my demonstration. Luckily, I was allowed to spend the teaching seminar experimenting with the different materials and getting my design lazer cut out in time for school the next day. This really put my mind at ease and calmed me for what was to come over the rest of the week. This also allowed me to take some images and familiarize myself with the techniques, boosting my confidence for when i went back to school. This also got me thinking about my 2 posters i needed to create. Because im working closely with year 7, i thought that it would be a good idea to base one poster on my work and my progress, and the other poster on the year 7’s work and how i impacted their learning.

Tuesday back in school was demonstration day. The teaching seminar on monday meant that i felt a little bit more prepared for the day. We spent the morning cutting out some more of our designs on the lazer cutter to use as demonstrations later on. I managed to get myself really worked up before the demonstration because i was so nervous but it didn’t turn out too bad in the end! I found that it was amazing how quickly the acrylic heated up, and it was interesting to see just how easy it was to bend the material. The whole process of shaping the plastic was relatively straight forward, you held the bit you wanted to bend over the heater until it became bendy and bent it into shape using the table.

Although this idea was straight forward in my head, I managed to completely mess up my demonstration. First of all i bent the feet at the front of my holder because i thought that would be the easiest- and it was – until i came to bend the middle part of my phone case up, which reheated the feet back up and they bent back to their original form! Although I wasn’t expecting this to happen (especially not in my demonstration to the class) I thought it was a good learning curve for both me and the pupils so that they could see what not to do. To make things even better, I then bent the middle section of my phone holder the wrong way so overall the demonstration was a bit of a disaster! Although things didn’t exactly go to plan, the mistakes were easy to rectify and this phone holder actually ended up being my best one!

2

After completing and making 6 phone holders in 2 days,  I was amazed at how long the project were drawn out. Although the year 7s have so far found this project challenging I feel like their outcomes will be successful after how excited they all were after our demonstrations! I think that seeing the finished product being made really inspired them and made them realize that they were producing a product that they could actually use!

At the end of our placement, the teachers gave us some examples of the pupils work so far. On the left is the year 7 project and on the right a year 8 project. Its really interesting to see the development of their computer skills and the transferal skills being brought in on other projects. You can see a clear increased complexity within the two projects and also thought about the final products whilst making their designs. Overall im really please with the progress that the pupils made in my time there, there was a clear development and understanding of the software that hopefully they will take with them and utilize in future projects.

Teaching placement day 6 – 08/02/2018

Today was our last day at the schools which was exciting but also sad! Today marked the end of a interesting yet successful journey at our school, so we thought that leaving the department a thank you card and a box of chocolates would be a nice gift to leave as they helped with this module so much. We spent most of the day dashing between the computer room and the room next door with the lazer cutter in. Since our previous day at school, we decided to come up with a few more design that we could print out and demonstrate with within the day. I decided to do a range of designs covering all kind of topics to try and engage the pupils interests a bit more.

We spent most of the morning at school preparing for 2 year 7 classes in the afternoon, one set 1 and one set 3. Today we were able to use the lazer cutter without any guidance which solidified any knowledge that we had gained on it from the day before. I felt like the day consisted of tying up a lot of loose ends, gathering paper work and printing out our designs whilst we had the chance, taking full advantages of the facility’s and our time left in school. Although we didn’t get to do any demonstrations today, we were able to help out the year 7’s with any technical difficulties they had with their computers and guide them with their work. Even though we used the day to do some of our own work, we did use the heat strip and the pupils kept coming and asking us about the work we were doing and seemed very impressed with the final outcomes! This was a good opportunity for me to ask them questions about their work and see which point that were at in the project. This opportunity was really nice because they were all so enthusiastic about their work!

One interesting thing that happened today that i had not seen before was a support teacher. This was during a set 3 class and although there were 4 teachers in the room, we were almost always busy helping the pupils. Another interesting thing that happened was that most of the questions i was asked about the project was from the support teacher because she didn’t know how to use 2D design. The pupil she was working with was struggling alot so it was nice to see that he was getting the support he needed and also nice to help him and to speak with him about his work. During the same lesson, i found that the pupils were really inquisitive as to what i was doing with my life. After explaining that i was a university student, they were really excited about the idea and asked me questions about my course. I’d like to think that perhaps some of these conversations i had with the pupils about university sparked an interest in perhaps pursuing a career in art and design or at least got them thinking about it.

even though this was my last day at school it was fairly laid back and relaxed. Overall i managed to produce 6 phone holders as examples which the pupils really enjoyed playing with. overall i found that this week was incredibly informal, the pupils had got used to us and were asking us more questions about the work but also about life in general and i felt much more comfortable around them. Even though working with the same year group the days got a bit repetitive, i am very grateful to have had this experience and found it really fun being able to influence people and work within a new skill area.