DATTA Australia Conference Reflections

Written by Larry Spry
Lecturer- Teaching Academic  University of South Australia  Design and Technologies , Educational Psychology ,Teaching Pedagogies .Director Educators SA,Past President DATTA SA & DATTA Australia

Original Program PDF

I attended the recent DATTA hands-on professional development workshops and Industry Expo, and the 10th DATTA Biennial International Research Conference held from the 6th-8th Dec 2018 at Swinburne University Technology as a representative of DATTA SA and as a D&T educator

The 4 days were crammed full of workshops, presentations, Industry displays and academic presentations .

Keynote speakers for 3 days

They were all firm promoters of D&T as a learning area and promoted the significance of the learning for all students

Wed. 5th Dec 2018 (AMDC Building Level 3, Hawthorn Campus)

Meet and Greet 4-6pm

Thurs. 6th Dec 2018 (Hawthorn campus)

Common DATTA and DATTArc combined registration desk, keynotes plenaries (morning)- Split sessions program for DATTArc and for DATTA workshops and Conf Dinner (proposed Hawthorn Arts Centre)

Fri. 7th Dec 2018 (Hawthorn campus)

Common DATTA and DATTArc combined registration desk, keynotes plenaries (morning) .Split sessions program for DATTArc and for DATTA workshops

12:05 PM - 12:55 PM

Larry Spry, A CHANGE IN COURSE Building: Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre Room: AMDC506 Challenging Themes


The intent of the presentation is to analyse the implementation of a different mode of delivery in regards to teaching and learning a Course in Design and Technologies at a Tertiary level. Faced with a change in the structure and content for the Masters of Education [MMET] courses for 2018 as a team we designed and created a new 7-week intensive teaching and learning program for MMET students in D&T. The course centred on the application and implementation of  “flipped classroom approach ”.The flipped classroom is a reversal of traditional teaching where students gain first exposure to new material outside of class, usually via reading or lecture type videos, and then tutorial time we assimilate that knowledge through strategies such as problem-solving, discussion, debates and 'hands on' practical activities. In this mode of operation students have the opportunity to put the theory from the information videos/readings into practice in the tutorials and the focus on the 4S Conceptual Framework for classroom (Background basics - Williams, David (Williams, David, 2013) management that centres on 4 intersecting & dynamic domains that are considered support effective management of the learning environment ,so as to provide support for teaching D&T in the primary classroom.

The presentation explores the program structure and content, reviews MMET student engagement in the course content and highlights student outcomes for discussion and review.

Sat. 8th Dec 2018 (Hawthorn campus)

Common DATTA and DATTArc combined registration desk, keynotes plenaries (morning) Split sessions program for DATTArc and for DATTA workshops

 11:05 AM - 11:55 AM

Larry Spry, CONNECTING WITH REGIONAL MEMBERS Building: Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre Room: AMDC502 Learning Themes


This presentation reviews a PD process implemented in 2018 that focussed on supporting involvement of our isolated regional members in curriculum development in Design and Technologies, establishing effective networks between regional and city educational sites & to support innovative and current practice in the teaching and learning of D&T in the secondary setting.

The "West Coast and Northern Areas D&T Hub Group" have been meeting on an annual basis for decades now.  Each year a school hosts visitors in the regional area to come a share ideas, link with colleagues and connect with DATTA SA representatives and make connections as a network of schools and communities.

DATTA SA has always been a part of the 3-day event with Executive members attending, presenting updates of curriculum development, workshop and updating pedagogy practices especially around WPS aspects

Through the support of the grant of $4000 from Educators SA to enable the planning, hosting and release of teachers for the event 30 teachers attended the 3-day event. This was a great opportunity to connect with Executive members, share ideas in relation to curriculum, programs and approaches to teaching, support programs such as F1 in schools and submarine program, focus on sTEm and flipped classroom approach to teaching & learning.

This presentation reviews a successful planning process and highlights the key components in relation to networking and reviews the significant role Associations play in promoting learning areas

Both presentations were well received and attendees were impressed with the work of DATTA SA and the connection with both Uni SA and West Coast members

Over all the conference attracted many school-based people throughout Victoria. SA was represented by Dr Denise Mac Gregor -UniSA, Susie Spry -UniSA and Paul Manser from Heritage College as SA educators along with various academics from Sweden ,UK, China & Japan.

As a reflection SA is doing quite well both from a Association perspective, University program delivery aspect and support from DECD .

New and exciting D&T initiatives are being planned through DATTA Australia that hopefully will raise the profile of D&T nationally and connect states and territories together to promote and celebrate our area of learning .

Thanks to Emil and DATTA SA executive for the support