Archive of ‘Technology 8’ category

Criteria E: Evaluation

In tech class we have recently finished making our cardboard chairs. Our unit question was What impact can innovation have on our environments? We worked in partners on the assignment, and I was with Aruna. We spent a lot of time working on the planning and drafting of the chair, although not as much on the creation of the final chair itself. Because of this, we did not have enough time to make our chair exactly how we planned it.

Our final chair design

Our final chair design

Earlier in the unit, we created a product test that consisted of five questions to ask people in our target audience. Below are the questions and answers from each person:

Photo on 5-27-14 at 12.46 PM

According to these results, our product was quite successful, although I’m not sure if I agree completely with all of the statements that were made. First of all, I do not really think that our chair was very aesthetically pleasing, as it is only made out of cardboard and tape, including a lot of mismatched boxes. The dimensions are not completely consistent, for example with how narrow the back rest is compared to the width of the seat. The chair is actually quite comfortable, because the part that is sat on was stuffed with different pieces of cardboard, providing a cushioning effect. The chair is not the most stable, although we did work hard and add a lot of pieces at the back and base to stabilize the chair. I am, however, quite impressed by the stability of the front part of the seat, as it was only held up by three rolled pieces of cardboard.

Our chair partway through the process

Our chair partway through the process

Similar to the product test, we created several design specifications to test our chair against. For each of the five sections (general, function, aesthetics, comfort and quality), we had to make three statements about what we wanted our chair to be: a must statement, a desirable statement, and a must not statement. To start off, our chair was obviously made out of cardboard, and we did not use any materials besides the ones we were provided. This means our chair was fine for the general specifications. Our chair was not as stable as we had hoped, although it did not collapse under the weight of an eighth grade girl. The function of our chair was completed to a reasonable standard:

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I think that as for aesthetics, we did quite poorly. We had said that our chair must look modern, although it did not turn out that way. We also said that our chair must not look rigid, although it does. This is because we had to put things such as stability first when creating the chair. In our comfort section, we wrote: “The chair must be as comfortable as possible, considering the circumstances.” I think that we did complete this successfully, and our chair was also not in a position that would cause back problems. Lastly, the cardboard was not as strong as it could have been, although the chair did not break. I think that for quality we did reasonably well, although with better resources we could have improved this.

As all the units with the design cycle, there are different phases that we completed. The first was investigate, which I think I did the best at. I think I did very well with the primary research, both on Art Deco and with the survey that we asked members of our target audience. Although the information I found from our research questions was good, I think that other questions would have been more helpful later in the process.

Part of my Art Deco research

Part of my Art Deco research

The next stage was the design stage. Here we came up with three different chair designs, listed their pros and cons, chose one, and made a planometric, assembly and Google sketch-up drawing of it. I think that I did quite a good job at the planometric drawing that I was assigned, because all of the dimensions were correct and the drawing was an accurate representation of our original plan. I think that when coming up with our first three designs, Aruna and I should have considered what we were actually capable of doing with the final chair.

My planometric drawing of our chair

My planometric drawing of our chair

In the plan stage, we had to make a parts list and flow map representing everything we would need to construct our final chair. We based this off of the prototype. I think that we did a good job at the parts list, because this was clear and easy to understand, with the correct measurements. However, our flow map had steps that we could have left out considering our lack of time and resources, so we should have been more realistic when making this.

Our parts list and flow map for criteria C

Our parts list and flow map for criteria C

The last stage was create. As I have mentioned, this stage did not go too well. This is because we did not have enough time, and we had not collected enough cardboard to construct our whole chair. I think that we did well at making the chair still functional and stable considering the circumstances, because I would not have been surprised if our chair had collapsed. We really should have considered how complicated we were making the chair before, because we found it too difficult to include the reclining mechanism in our final chair.

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The impact innovation has on environments is that it provides new ideas in the community, for better or for worse. I think that peoples’ opinions on this will effect what kind of changes are made to their attitudes. For example in this unit, we re-used all of the cardboard from around the school to make these chairs, instead of simply throwing it away. I think that this unit was a good lesson for the future. Because we had never really done anything practical in tech before, most of us were quite unprepared for the work in this unit. However, our mistakes from this unit will help us in similar tasks in the future.

Tech Evaluation

For our first unit in technology this year, we had to first research what made good presentations and how to do this ourselves. My final presentation was called The advantages and disadvantages of having siblings, and although I could not film it when I presented in class, I have made a video where I recorded my voice over my slides:

Before we did our presentations, we did a practice version. However, I did not have time in class, so I needed to do it at home and receive feedback from my friends through Skype. I got feedback from Rhiannu, Aruna, Sukran and Sam. Below is a screenshot from my unit document stating what they said:

Because of this feedback I tried to focus mainly on improving my body language for my final presentation. Unfortunately this cannot be seen in the video above, as it is only a voice recording. However, from what my classmates told me, I think I did a lot better in that area than in my practice. In comparison to the design specifications, I think that in the end my presentation itself was quite good, because of the simplicity of the design and the fact that I had quite a good idea of where the whole thing was going from when we started brainstorming, and didn’t change much.

We also created essential and desirable specifications before we did our presentations. Below is another screenshot of the table I created stating these:

Luckily, I completed all of my essential specifications, and most of my desirable ones as well. I was successful in following my plan, although I was quite nervous during the presentation. I think this is something that I will just need to overcome through experience though, so in future presentations I will probably be more confident. I think I did humor the audience in some places, but I would have preferred to make it funnier. I considered this a bit of a challenge though, as I needed to keep the point of my presentation at the same time.

In the design cycle there are 4 stages: investigate, plandesign, create and evaluate. This is the evaluate stage, so I don’t feel the need to explain that. In the investigate stage, I think I could have improved by coming up with a good idea for my presentation topic earlier than I did. If I had done that, I think this would have improved my whole presentation, as it would have given me longer to complete all of the other steps of the project. I think that one problem I had during the design was that I stated all of the things I needed to do or solve, but didn’t try to come up with a solution until later. For example, I should have thought about ways I could have made my presentation funnier, instead of having to try to incorporate this later on. In the plan the main thing we did was create our timeline and storyboard. I think I did well on my storyboard, but I wasn’t exactly sure what to put on the timeline. I think I should have been more specific with what I put in it. The create stage is the presentation itself and my delivery of it, which I think I did quite well. One thing I should have thought about earlier was that the design of my slides was also one of the main things being graded, but I purposely tried to keep them as simple as possible, and I hope this has not brought my grade down, as it was intentional. Apart from that, however, I was quite impressed with myself for not forgetting my script halfway through or something like that.

Our unit question was How do we present naked? and I think that the main answer to this is to be yourself and try to connect with your audience as much as possible. To remove all the barriers you have so that you can’t hide behind anything and are forced to be open with everything. I think that researching and learning about this really improved my presentation skills in that way, because I was more relaxed with the audience than I ever have been before. Obviously I still have a lot of work to do before I master this completely, but I think I made a good start this unit.