The use of ICT can be exciting, fulfilling and motivating. However, there are times when it can be frustrating and intimidating. The key is to use ICT only when it enhances learning, saves time (rather than monotonous repetition) or enables the student to perform an action/function which they would not normally be able to do, e.g. take a virtual visit. If it is easier to pick up a ruler and a piece of paper - do so; it is about the quality of the work, rather than the improved professional presentation, that matters - ICT can often mask underachievement.
With respect to food technology, ICT should serve you, allowing you and your students to achieve more with the resources you have at your disposal. Start to think about what you want to acheive in food technology first - then work out if (and only if) ICT can help you met these aims better, faster or more accuractely. Of course, there are sometimes occassions when the use of a piece of technology is reason enough for it to be used, but this should be the exception rather than the rule.
Problems and Constraints
It may not always be possible to use the latest software or hardware at school. Some factors which can constrain are:
- limited access to computer hardware in food technology rooms, i.e. a lack of computers;
- networking - technical and financial problems, e.g. software licenses may be too expensive;
there is not the appropriate software to meet your need;
- lack of internet access;
- little or no training and support;
- confusion over usefulness of ICT in food technology or home economics, e.g. making a box, writing a menu.
However, there are some very good uses of ICT in food technology or home economics (many include excel templates), including:
- performing nutritional analysis and comparing dietary information to DRVs;
- modelling cost/portion sizes / weight & percentages;
presenting sensory evaluation results, e.g. hedonic scale, star-diagram;
- using computer mediated communications (one alone, one to one, one to many, many to many), e.g. email, surfing the internet;
- imaging, e.g. using a digital camera to record the stage in production or a scanner to take cross-sections of different types of bread or a digital microscope;
- data logging, e.g. pH, temperature;
- flow-charts showing production plans;
- understanding the use of CAD and CAM;
- performing research, e.g. questionnaire design, analysis, CD-ROM;
- writing a recipe;
- presenting results of research, e.g. WP, spreadsheet, web, powerpoint.
Last reviewed: 27/11/2012
Next review date: 27/11/2015
Flowcharts are useful to show how a product is going to be made, stage by stage. This section provides two Word templates.
This section provides a recipe Word template.
Cost and Portion
This section provides Excel templates to help calculate the cost and portion size of a recipe.
Weight and Percentage
This section provides two Excel templates to calculate weight and percentage ratios.
Comparing Dietary Analysis Results to Dietary Reference Values (DRVs)
These Excel templates allow pupils to enter dietary results from nutritional analysis software for comparison to selected DRVs for one day. The resulting chart shows the percentage of each DRV reached/exceeded.