Monday, 26 October 2009

A lot to read... sorry!

For Design Studies, we were asked to research into a certain topic extracted from a group brainstorm. Our brainstorm on TV Education is above. We went from children education to adult education, showing the difference between what things you learn from TV. We went into how TV education is actually designed. Other ideas such as computer games and merchandise were also said.

I decided to look into the learning (for children) in general. I could have looked intoit a lot more, writing more for each area, but there are just so many! I went from learning, to my own experience, to truancy, to a recent news report on children going into formal learning later and then finally to homeschooling. I started off with a spider diagram which went into 4 small Mindmaps. Seeing them together I feel a spider diagram is more useful as you can write so much more in the space provided. I maybe should have used colour, but I’ve not quite worked out a best way to do that.

Anyways, researching this has actually been a bit emotional for me… I wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until the summer before I came to university. So throughout my school life it wasn’t noticed. In primary I was put down a lot by teachers as my reading was terribly slow, my writing was so messy and I wasn’t good at structuring my essays (writing is better now, but the other two things still effect me). Apparently I used to “pull a sicky” whenever it came to Language.
In 5th year at High School I asked my English teacher if I could get extra help regarding close reading and he said “no, you get enough teaching as everyone else”. And my sort of art teacher when I was making my portfolio said to me “You won’t get into Art College”. It’s like thanks for the encouragement! I realised my nervousness, worrying too much about everything and generally thinking I’m doing everything wrong was because of the way I was treated in primary school and at high school. It’s subconsciously there, making me get all whelmed up when it came to talking to teachers. Obviously, I’m not as bad as I used to be. University is different, and that’s why I love it. I hated school so much, ever since I first started!! I still get stressed and worry a hell of a lot…

This got me thinking of a way kids could get tested for dyslexia early so they don’t end up like me! There should be a cost effective solution. A few people never actually realise they have it… so if there was a way to test a whole class early in primary school which could also point out people with reading and writing delays that may not be connected to dyslexia so they can get extra help also. There are many forms and levels of dyslexia, obviously some worse than others, but as soon as it has been found out, they can get the help they need. It needs to be simpler and not take a lot of time to do. It cost my family £700 to get me tested as we didn’t know if I’d be able to pass English to get into DoJ. Luckily I did pass because a few teachers noticed I may have a problem so they gave me extra time on my English papers (and on my Product Design paper) I really don’t think I would have been able to pass without that extra 15 mins! I think it’s the cost that puts schools off from testing students and this is why the kids struggle throughout their school life. Basically there needs to be a solution to this problem….

For the other areas I covered, I only researched them... I wasn’t able to come up with ideas to help or improve them. I didn’t mind researching them though. It was a good week’s worth of research. Hopefully I won’t mind doing this when it comes to the dissertation :) And now that I have support for my dyslexia I’m sure it will be fine… bet I’ll still be worrying and stressing! :P

Monday, 19 October 2009

Just some thoughts...

I'm starting to accept that design isn't all about the visual aspect of it. Everything is designed in some way or another. I think I'll come back to this concept of in more detail after I've had a while to ponder over it. It has never really hit me before, but I'm glad it has now.

I was speaking to my grandad who was a research chemist. If you are looking to design something new, you consult what was there before. In his case he would consult books. I think it was Plutonium he mentioned (I do listen but my memory fails me a lot...) was a not-so-new-but-new-enough man-made element (again design!)... he had very little to refer back to, no books had been written about it. So he would have had to rely on experimentation and what people around him had found out. That must have been exciting to work with something new but also tough as you wouldn't know how it reacted or anything.

These days there aren't things that are completely new, you can find out everything about everything if you look for it...

I'm not too sure where I am going with this and its getting late, so I'll leave it there and perhaps think a bit more :)

Monday, 5 October 2009

A New Idea...

I've been having some issues lately with my vessel project in my Jewellery & Metalwork class. I had a set idea in my head, which is not a good thing to have as it distracts me from other possiblities and when that idea isn't possible, I am just back at the beginning. So I have learnt my lesson to not do that again!

I was partly set on soldering (I really like soldering...) metal shapes onto a bigger textured metal bowl... but the bowl itself was causing problems as I'm not a silversmith! It would just take too long to learn the skills in the time I have left on this project.

So I've gone back to looking at my sketchbook to see what I could put together. I've come up with an idea that involves fly-pressing instead (I'm practicing this tomorrow, I hope it turns out okay!) I believe it will work better with my idea. Watch this space...

My theme is water as it is a liquid container I am designing and making, I think it fits quite well plus water has a lot of movement in it so I can develop many repeating forms from it. Heres a drawn picture of my ripple idea before I go :)

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Tipping points and education

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell was a very interesting book. It is so amazing how the smallest and simpliest change can produce big results. Above is my Mindmap of the main sections of the book. I didn't go into too much detail but I think I got most of the important points.

I should probably read to book again because I have a feeling I'll pick up far more if I do or at least listen to the audio version all the way through. Takes me far too long to read a book, its really annoying. Literally my book collection is about 5 books! o_O

Anyway, going off a bit... I find it amazing how much research went into producing this book. Gladwell gathered so much information and put it in a way for the rest of us to understand. He repeats himself a lot so once you have forgotten something from the begining of the book he'll mention it again so you can see how the situations all work in the same way. I found myself repeating parts of the book to my family :)

As I was fairly confident in understanding The Law of the Few and The Power of Context, I decided to do a second Mindmap based on The Stickiness Factor section. It was the section I never really took in! Guess it wasn't "sticky" enough :P

I never realised how much testing and research goes into children's television. I didn't know how a child's mind works either. There is a fair bit more to them than we first thought.
I used to love being told stories...