Technology in STEAM Education
Technology products are essentially the tangible results stemming from the application of Science, Mathematics and Engineering. Engineers utilise their skills along with their Science and Mathematics knowledge to address certain challenges/needs and offer solutions. These solutions are technological products. Most people nowadays tend to confuse Technology as an overall concept with digital Technology. However this is not the case. Lightbulbs, steam engines and countless other products are also Technological products just like computers, cell phones and tablets.
When designing a STEAM activity on particular subject, teachers can refer to related technological achievements and use them in numerous ways to reinforce certain parts of the activity and support the other elements of STEAM (SEAM). For example:
- A preliminary stimulus to draw students attention and introduce the subject
- Higlight the added value, practical application and connections to students' lives of the subject under discussion
- Through a hands-on activity where students are asked reproduce a particular technology product and understand the science and engineering behind it
- Stimulate students creativity and imagination by challenging them to think of alternative ways to use a particular product.
- Draw Art inspiration from a technology product (use as a main element in a fictional story for example or use elements in a sculpture)
To find example connections between science concpets and technology products visit the Science WAND.
Technology however is not included in the learning process only through the demonstration and introduction of technological achievements related to the subject at hand. It also has to do with the tools that are used to facilitate the learning process itself. In this particular case, we refer to Technology in Education. Nowadays, teachers have at their disposal a vast variety of digital educational tools that can be used to support the learning process. Such tools offer numerous options, from presenting entire activities online, to performing simple tasks in a fun way (like doing polls and concept maps). In POLAR STAR we have compiled a list with the digital educational tools that could be useful to teachers. Visit the links below to view the POLAR STAR list as well as a mindmap with additional tools and resources.