Hatter Technology Seminar hailed a success


18 November 2004 The third annual Hatter Technology Seminar has been hailed a success by both participants and organisers. World ORTs Research and Development Coordinator, Osnat Dagan, said: The participants all felt that the Seminar had been a total success professionally, educationally and socially. The guest speakers were of a high calibre, the topics were all relevant and the issues that were discussed really addressed their needs. They all left here inspired and enthused. Not only was this years Hatter Technology Seminar the biggest so far attracting a record 23 ORT educators and administrators from 12 countries but it was also the first to focus on one theme throughout its four-and-a-half days. All the participants thought it was a good idea to focus on one issue, including those who have taken part in previous Hatter Seminars. So next year we plan to do the same with another subject, Ms Dagan said. This year, the focus was on design: participants discussed how to teach design in different ways, in particular the role of creativity in technology and education. The educators from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, France, Israel, Mexico, Moldova, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Uruguay and the USA shared ideas and experiences on how they teach design. The Seminar featured lectures by esteemed technicians in the field of design technology including Professor Richard Kimbell of Goldsmiths College, University of London, who spoke on the subject of design with a focus on design assessment. Tony Lawler, also of Goldsmiths College, shared his theory about gender, design process and the use of the terms Big Picture and Small Steps. There were also applied workshops and presentations by participants focusing on local knowledge specific to their country of origin. One of them, technology teacher Priscilla Elman, from Brazil, gave a presentation titled Design Process: new experiences of teaching technology and science to children from 11 to 14 years old. I learned so much at this seminar, she said. I saw how colleagues taught design and technology in other countries which was very useful because we dont have this kind of subject in the curriculum in Brazil. The Hatter Seminar has given me more ideas that will enable me to teach differently from before. World ORTs Acting Head of Education and Technology, Judah Harstein, said each Hatter Technology Seminar added members to ORTs on-line forum through which the organisations educationalists can continue to share information and advice. This way were continually building the family of ORT professionals, Mr Harstein said. One of the most important outcomes of these seminars is that you create a cohesive group of like-minded professionals who are able to inspire both colleagues and students With each Seminar ORTs educational standards are ratcheted up a notch. This raising of standards enables us to remain as schools of choice for Jewish families around the world. World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter said the Seminar represented ORTs and his own personal commitment to the importance of teaching technology as a discipline in schools. Its an opportunity to ensure that ORT remains a world leader in teaching the subject, he said. Love it or hate it but no-one can escape technology today. In the modern world were dependent on technology for everything and this dependence makes us vulnerable. The only way to reduce peoples vulnerability is to increase their education and understanding of the subject. Design process is vital to the development of man made products, added Sir Maurice, the Chairman and owner of IMO Precision Controls Limited, which supplies control components to British industry. By ensuring that our students understand and master the concepts were preparing them for the production lines of the future.