What will you learn in Technology?

When you study MYP Technology you will learn how to use tools. You will then use your creativity to solve problems using those tools. You will be making things that make life easier for people.


Introduction to MYP technology

Technology and technological developments have given rise to profound changes in society, transforming how we access and process information, how we communicate with others and how we work and solve problems.
The MYP holistic approach to teaching and learning acknowledges that inquiry and problem solving contribute to students’ development of thinking skills and strategies that will equip them to face the rapidly changing demands of the twenty-first century.
MYP technology aims to provide the means and the context to help students become skillful problem solvers, who can appreciate the role of technology in everyday life and society and who can respond critically and resourcefully to real-life challenges.
The MYP technology course aims to:
  • challenge all students by providing opportunities for different needs and learning styles
  • encourage students to explore the role of technology in both historical and contemporary contexts
  • contribute to raising students’ awareness of their responsibilities as world citizens when making decisions and taking action on technology issues.
This guide will give both teachers and students clear aims and objectives for MYP technology as well as details of final assessment requirements. IBO-produced teacher support material will complement this guide and will aid in implementing the course in schools.

Characteristics of the subject

Technology exists as a single subject in the MYP in terms of its aims, objectives and assessment criteria. Inquiry and problem solving are at the heart of the MYP technology course.
During the five-year course, students are expected to solve problems through the creation of technological products/solutions. Students investigate problems and use the technology design cycle as a tool to design, plan, create and evaluate products/solutions. A product/solution can be defined as a model, prototype, product or system that students have generated independently.
MYP technology is structured into three main branches: information, materials and systems. Over the five years of the course, the range of outcomes that students design and create should contain a balance of information-, materials- and systems-based products/solutions.

Information

MYP technology enables students to identify, access, evaluate and acknowledge a wide range of information sources. Information-based products/solutions use and/or communicate information to perform a task, achieve a purpose, meet a need or solve a problem. Information-based products/solutions often involve computer technology, for example, desktop publishing (DTP), multimedia packages and web pages. Students are expected to select and handle media and software that are appropriate to the problem being solved.
This aspect of the course should not be confused with the simple use of information as part of the design cycle.

Materials

In many cases creating a product/solution involves using materials. These may be natural or synthetic, and will differ according to geographical location, culture and available resources. Students should be able to identify, combine, experiment with, shape and handle different types of materials, and safely dispose of, or recycle, waste products. Students must select processing techniques that are appropriate to both the chosen material(s) and the product/solution to be created.

Systems

Systems-based products/solutions involve a group of interdependent items that interact regularly to perform a task or achieve a purpose. These items are materials, components or information that have been incorporated into a system in order to provide a solution to a problem. Systems in our environment are very diverse: from a microchip to an aircraft flight-control system; from a ballpoint pen to a plotter; from fire-drill procedures to crowd control; from simple electrical circuits to sophisticated alarm systems. Students need to recognize the parts of a system (input, processing and control, and output) as well as the crucial role each component plays as part of the whole.

Fundamental concepts

Teaching and learning MYP technology is underpinned by the fundamental concepts of the MYP:
  • holistic learning
  • intercultural awareness
  • communication.

Holistic learning

Holistic learning breaks down the artificial barriers of the different subjects commonly found on a school timetable, enabling students to discover the relationships between different areas of knowledge and between the subject’s content and the real world. The areas of interaction encourage dialogue between different subjects and contribute to enhancing students’ understanding of concepts and issues.
This holistic approach implies the need for MYP teachers to:
  • work closely with their colleagues, both within the technology department and in other departments
  • provide opportunities for the coordination and integration of subject matter within and across subject groups.
MYP technology can contribute to the development of holistic learning by providing opportunities for students to:
  • reflect upon the interdependence between technology and other areas of knowledge in the development of products and solutions
  • help students to appreciate how technology and technological developments have shaped everyday life and society.

Intercultural awareness

The opportunity to develop intercultural awareness through technology can only be fully achieved with the collaboration of the whole school community and by building on relations with the outside world. As students learn about their own and others’ social and national cultures they develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and values such as tolerance, respect and empathy.
Schools are encouraged to explore local and global issues from similar and contrasting cultures to their own in developing and implementing their courses. This will help students to broaden their understanding of themselves as individuals and as members of society.
MYP technology can contribute to the development of intercultural awareness by providing opportunities for students to:
  • use local and global examples to examine the influence and the use of technology in different societies and cultures
  • reflect upon their role and responsibilities as consumers and developers of technology in both local and global settings
  • promote understanding of and respect for alternative viewpoints from different societies when solving technology problems.

Communication

Communication is fundamental to learning as it supports inquiry and understanding. A good command of both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication is essential to learning, understanding and expression. Technology has dramatically changed the way we access information, communicate with others and solve problems.
MYP technology can contribute to the development of communication by providing opportunities for students to:
  • become competent in the use of ICT when accessing, processing and communicating information
  • respond to technology challenges and communicate their ideas creatively through design
  • explore and assess the effectiveness of different forms of communication
  • evaluate information and acknowledge sources appropriately.

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