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Educational Workshops

‘Workshops are where students discover creative abilities they didn’t know they had’

D & T - Back to the future?

I’M SURE all readers will by now have read and responded to the government’s draft design and technology curriculum published on 7 February. As it stands, much of the development in design education over the last three decades seems to have been ignored and a misty-eyed view of ‘craft for craft’s sake’ seems to set the tone. Modern design and technology is a direct response to fitting young people for the technological world around them. We have no room for complacency, but you will have your own views as to whether the proposals will inspire the next generation of designers and engineers.

Whatever the outcome, it is clear that design and technology will continue to be about students designing and making quality products to meet real needs. For this, appropriate resources need to be preserved and maintained and this means workshops.

Enduring Principles

It is tempting to follow fashion and talk about ‘Spaces’ but I think ‘workshop’ is a term worth hanging on to. Workshops are where stuff gets made, where students discover creative abilities they didn’t know they had and where they will be inspired to make a difference to the world. Sir Terence Conran has spoken of being inspired by the sights and smells of his school woodwork shop. Racks of wooden planes, polished smooth by years of use and a floor littered with tissue-thin shavings. Design and technology education has rightly developed and the school workshop Sir Terence remembers may no longer be relevant or appropriate, but many principles endure. His school workshop was clearly purposeful, efficiently organised and a pleasant place to spend time in.

Modern design and technology workshops need to encompass an even broader range of technologies, so reflecting these principles in their design, construction and resourcing needs with even more care than ever.

CAD/CAM Machines

Complete solutions for workshops

TechSoft has been providing up-to-date CAD/CAM resources for well over 25 years and continues to work with teachers to ensure that it doesn’t simply supply ‘the kit’ but provides inspiration too. All our main CAM machines are supplied with comprehensive Training packs – teachers get up to speed quickly so new machines will give students the powerful, up-to-date tools they need from the outset.

We have now expanded our range to include all the main machine resources needed for a modern D & T facility and deploy these to support our busy project management service. Working with teachers, builders and architects we have a growing reputation for creating the sort of inspiring, efficient workshops students need and deserve. Whether you need a single machine or are planning complete refurbishment, we can advise on the right equipment and will work with you to ensure an efficient layout and trouble free installation.

New TechSoft Product Guide

Every secondary school and college in the UK will by now have received the latest TechSoft Product Guide. The 2013–14 edition is our biggest yet and demonstrates our commitment to providing the best possible resources for CAD/CAM and the workshop equipment needed to support practical education.

by Tim Elderton of TechSoft, January 2013
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