Magazine article Technology and Children

TECH Design Logs: A Good Habit!

Magazine article Technology and Children

TECH Design Logs: A Good Habit!

Article excerpt

Introduction

How do you know whether students are truly engaging in the technological problem-solving process as they devise solutions to problems and test them? Design logs are one way to find out. Many teachers use this form of assessment to guide students through the process and discover how their students are thinking about their problems/solutions.

Teachers and parents know that good habits and important values are learned at early ages. Getting children to engage in the problem-solving process whenever they have a technological problem to solve is another habit that we want to instill. And, the earlier it is learned, the better chance there is that students will use this process when confronted with more difficult problems in the future.

Quite simply, design logs are methods of gathering information in written form about the steps one goes through in order to design solutions to problems. Design logs are one effective way to encourage students to think more deeply about their technological problem-solving experiences. Design logs are also effective forms of assessment because teachers can use them to gather evidence of students' Understanding of the technological problem solving process.

Design logs come in many forms and may be called by different names such as technology journals, engineering documentation, or design portfolios. Students can keep informal design logs by recording information about their problem-solving processes in a notebook (spiral notebook or three-ring binder, for example). However, many teachers find it useful to have a standard form that is used for this purpose, especially during the elementary school years when children are just learning how to identify, solve, and assess technological problems. One example of a design log form (intended for upper elementary students) can be seen in the picture accompanying this article. This sample design log form can also be downloaded for free from the Technology Education for Children Council (TECC) Web site at www.ncat.edu/~childres/ teccresrs.html.

Regardless of the type of documentation system or design log form that you use, consider these guidelines. The design log should:

1. …

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