Friday, 19 July 2013

What's to come by Year 7.12 Food Technology

Note from Mrs James: this post is by my second group 7.12 
Period 5 Friday 19th July 2013
(7.4 Blog post here-thanks to all who have left comments so far. 
Over 98 views in 3 hours!)

We think we will learn the following during our time in Food Technology:
  • How to cook pizza muffins
  • Safe cooking environment and hygiene
  • How to use mushrooms
  • How to use knives
  • How to plate up a dish and present food
  • Names of ingredients
  • How to turn on an oven
  • How to mix and cook ingredients
  • How to make hash browns
  • I think it is all about cooking
  • Where the food came from
  • How to make brownies
  • How to use herbs and spices in a dish
  • To learn about different food groups
  • How to say safe in a kitchen
What I really would like to learn when studying Food Technology:

  • How to cook bacon quiche
  • How to make eggs benedict
  • How to make pastry for pie
  • Bacon cheese meat pie
  • How to cooking mechanisms (ovens)
  • How to make dumplings
  • How to crack an egg with one hand
  • Make coke
  • How to make ice cream
  • Seasoned potatoes
  • How to keep diary products from curdling
  • How to keep fizz in soft drink
  • How to make brownies
  • Redsigning bottles
  • Food presentation and design
  • Cooking traditions
  • New food (create/product development)
  • Unusual dish?  Craziest dish out
  • How boil and egg perfectly
  • How to make thai food
  • How to make pe from scratch -apple
  • Competitions- who can make heathy cake
  • How to make rice paper rolls
  • Calazone
  • How to decorate a dish
  • Sushi
  • If we can choose country and make national food
  • Nutella helathy delicious cakes to share with family
  • Food that athletes can eat prior to competitio to increase performance
  • Cooking traditions
  • How to cook so fast like on masterchef
  • Be like Matt Preston- food critic
  • Protein shakes
  • Gelato
  • Cooking materials
  • Food photography
  • Decorated cake
  • How to make food look cool

Initial impressions of Food Technology lessons:
  • I like how we get to choose what we cook
  • I enjoyed that we all started out together as a group
  • very hands on and involving
  • hoping we cook BROWNIES
  • hoping to make italian food
  • gonna cook some food
  • amazing
  • Interesting...
  • food = good
  • fantastico!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, MEAT PIE, YOLO POTATO
  • YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FULLY SICK BROOOO
  • FUN!!:):):):):):
  • It seems like it will be cool!!
  • Awesome teacher
  • first lesson 007
  • Its Very Fun because we get to do food stuff
  • Great/Fun end to the week :D

Looking forward to reading your comments and having fun in Food tech this semester. 

From 7.12 Oakhill College, Sydney Australia.

Introducing "Epic Food Tech: Yr7.4

Our very first class 19th July 2013
This is our very first class and therefore first group sourced blog post.
The first context area we studied for semester one was Wood Technology and now we are looking forward to Food Technology!

Today in Sydney it is raining.  We bought all our bags in the classroom and Mrs James asked us to place all tables and desks to the sides of the classrooms and find a spot with our tablets.
She thought it funny that we automatically sat in rows and faced the front- so she took a picture!  That is us at the top of the post. When Mrs James asked us why we sat in this format we said "That's what primary school does to you" and "won't we get in trouble if we move?" REALLY?  She said.  Then Mrs James asked us to download the PICSAY app from the playstore (we use Android tablets) and take a photo in groups of 2-4.  She asked us to layer stickers to the photo and add our first names only as she would love to know our names quickly. We then emailed her our group photos. 

Next we wrote this post as a class. These are our views.

We think we will learn the following during our time in Food Technology:
  • Recipes and food
  • Trying different things
  • Culture
  • Cookies
  • Extra lunch
  • Creating new and delicious combos with food
  • Curries
  • Sausage rolls
  • Free stuff
  • Learning how to cook when you leave home
  • Designing and creating different foods
  • Tacos
  • Cooking
  • Eggs
  • Baking and cake
  • Bacon
  • Pumpkin soup
What I really would like to learn when studying Food Technology:

  • Design a restaurant
  • How to make healthy and nutritious food
  • How to develop a brand
  • Create your own type of food
  • Vegetarian stuff
  • Recipes from different cultures
  • Make hot chocolates that taste good -cool patterns on top
  • Thai food
  • Good food for my kids
  • Cooking robot
  • Design dinner ideas
  • Food presentation like in magazines
  • How is food mass produced
  • How to make a cheeseburger that looks as good as the ads
  • How to prepare different cuts of food
  • How to make your favourite foods
  • Nutritional diets
  • How to make Ice cream-fried Ice cream too!
  • Souffle
  • Masterchef competitions
  • Fried mars bar
  • How to use a knife properly
  • How to balance food tray
  • Learn how different cultures prepare food

Initial impressions of Food Technology lessons:
  • Fun
  • Can't wait until next one!
  • Awesome!!
  • Interesting
  • Cool
  • Great fun!!!!!
  • Amazing   tacos
  • Good
  • Epic!
  • Yummy yummy
  • Yay LOL!
  • Very exciting
  • Making Food!!
  • Can't wait to design and eat the food!
  • New life skills
Thanks for reading our first ever post.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Inactivity kills. Important viewing from 93 year old body builder.

A chance to build a successful long term life. 
You have nothing to lose; except the chains of convention.  
AND...take note of Charles' sense of humour!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Food Manufacture: production, processing and preservation.

It is interesting to keep a food diary, even if for a few days. What patterns so you notice in your eating? What proportion of your diet is based on raw foods, convenience foods and processed foods?  For the majority of us, a vast percentage of our diet IS in fact, processed.  From our breakfast cereals, bread, snacks, coffee, tea, beverages and yoghurts to our stir fries, roasts  and vegetables we have for dinner.  

All these foods have come into contact with the manufacturing process. 

It is fascinating to watch how raw materials are processed in order to create a product for consumers. Have we become immune to the degree to which our food is processed?
Should we be wary of how much processed foods we are consuming?
Are we passing on enough home skills such as bread, pasta and jam making to future generations?
How much trust do we place upon food manufactures, food policy, standards, enforcement and surveillance?
Read more about Australia's safe food plan here.

Take a look at the videos below and take note of the equipment, production systems and additives used.

How hot dogs are made.

Focaccia processes.

Making Strawberry Jam the easy way.

Food Additives: 

Additives are used in food processing to:
  • Improve the taste or appearance of a processed food. For example, beeswax - glazing agent (901) may be used to coat apples to improve their appearance.
  • Improve the keeping quality or stability of a food. For example, sorbitol - humectant (420) - may be added to mixed dried fruit to maintain the moisture level and softness of the fruit.
  • Preserve food when this is the most practical way of extending its storage life. For example, sulphur dioxide - preservative (220) - is added to some meat products such as sausage meat to limit microbial growth. (via
Food additives by VEA Australia.

This video will not embed. You can search for it on You tube.

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Food additives ensure the consumer is able to purchase foods that are safe, nutritious and convenient. In our world, many cannot afford the time to home process the majority of their food.  Are you able to make home made bread every day and source all your fruits, vegetables, meats and grains?  It is wonderful to see those that can contribute some home made basic foods to the household diet.  Making home made bread, preserves such as Jam and pasta is humbling and satisfying. It is a comforting to be very aware of what is in the foods we eat. 

We would love for you to share links to your recipes/blogs in the comments below.

Manufactures must ensure their product is of sound quality to ensure brand loyalty, maintain business profits and meet the mission of their organisation. Quality control is integral.

We are interested in your stories of food additive allergies or reactions and any recipes or blogs you care to share re Food manufacture, food production, processing and preservation.

Monday, 25 February 2013

6 month update! QR codes, minecraft and PIP

It has been a long while since out last post (August, 2012).  So, what prompted this post now? I stumbled upon the 2nd day of the #CSXII twitter handle today (12th Home Econonics Canadian Symposium. It's held every 2nd year) My twitter and instagram pals Melissa @MelissaEdstrom, Denise @dnembhard43 and Joesph @teachertong were tweeting away using #CSXII.  They were in Vancouver Canada and I was enjoying a late breakfast at home in Sydney, Australia. You gotta love twitter for these handy insights into PD all across the world!  Free, easy and enjoyable! What's not to love; really!

These teachers immensely love Home Economics. H.E was the subject I fell in love with as a student, as it was about life; food, sociology, psychology and physiology. Many countries around the world have retained Home Economics as a subject area. Victoria, Australia have also retained the HE title. However, in the early 1990's NSW changed the title of this KLA (key learning area) into a few different subject areas: Food Technology, Design and Technology, Textiles Technology and Textiles and Design.  They all fall under the KLA of Technological and applied studies (TAS). Hospitality sits under the VET (vocational education training) courses amongst Automotive services, Retail services and Construction.

Interesting read:
Home economics: ACARA Submission/National curriculumn2009.pdf

At the school I am currently teaching in, we offer Mandatory TAS in Year 7 and 8 and Food Technology and Hospitality in Years 11 and 12. As we only have one kitchen, we cannot offer classes in Years 9-10 (much to the disappointment of many boys). I enjoy integrating technology into the classroom as it not only engages students but can assist in their processing and understanding of the course outcomes. Allowing the students to engage in authentic learning experiences and reach out to others beyond the classroom is a most powerful learning opportunity.

Since August 2012, we have run a Masterchef Challenge for the Year 7 students using either Chicken or egg as their main ingredient. Students only had an hour to prepare, cook, present their finished dish and clean up. Below are some photos we posted on our Instagram account.  The year 7 students were able to design their own dish, order food and create individual dishes. They were so proud of their creations!

Since August 2012, we have also:

  • recorded vodcasts using their Android Acer iconia 500a tablets (1:1 across Years 7 and 9 in 2012 and in 2013 across 7-11 with a whizz bang Acer iconia 700 tablet) using the movie studio app.
  • continued enjoying QR (quick response codes) for SP (study prep)
  • built our networks around the world with our instagram challenge (see here)
  • won a competition via ink361 for our layering photo below using iphones.

  • trialled food safety online games for Home Ec connect teachers network
  • Experimented with food photography
  • After the formal assessment was recorded and feedback given for the #masterchef challenge, I gave the students another project. 
This time, the project was not a formal ATB (across the board assessment). Students were told this assessment would not be marked in the traditional way. No marks would be given. Only teacher, student and global feedback. This project would not appear on their reports.

I had introduced the PIP (personal interest project) the year before to the 2011 cohort. Students were given TTT (think tank time). Triple T time. Similar to the google 80/20 idea.  I gave the students 20% of their class time to create something they were interested in. This was most successful, so I decided to share this idea. I explained the PIP concept to the 2012 semester 2 group. They were sold!  Only 4 groups across 3 classes didn't manage to submit. (8/60 students).  Remember, this was optional.

In a nutshell, this was the PIP proposal:
  1. PIP stands for Personal Interest Project. The students could choose anything to research, plan and create, as long as it was aligned to the TAS syllabus.
  2. Ideas were tossed around in class and students sampled researching some projects before deciding on a theme and presentation model.
  3. Students submitted a goal, question or challenge. These included building a kitchen design out of lego and filming the process, creating an international food market place in Minecraft, food photography, mastering a tricky dessert, Planning and making a 3 course meal for both families and obtaining feedback, writing a report on our school @foodatoakhill instagram account and preparing a meal given a theme to work around.
  4. Students were given 2 classes to work together in groups of two. Some students, asked to work across different classes as their best mate was in another of my classes. I was cool with that.
  5. Any extra time needed to complete the task was to found my the group members.
  6. Present your PIP to the class (via You tube, powerpoint, podcast, vodcast, oral presentation or poster)
The buzz amongst students was something to marvel at. As a teacher, I love seeing this natural drive to learn and showcase what one has learnt. Affirmations were aplenty and talents were admired. It was a positive way to end the semester. The beauty? Student choice and student voice

In our next post, student PIPs will be showcased. Students are aware and proud to present their PIPS (Personal interest projects) via this class blog. Here is one of the very first PIPs to be presented by Cameron L and Dylan B. They designed a restaurant using minecraft. 

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy what life has to offer. Keep learning, sharing and reaching out to others in order to build a sense of community amongst wider global educators and learners; young and more experienced :)

Monday, 13 August 2012

The benefits of Instagram

The instagram app is available on ios and Android #free

(if you are not sure what Instagram is all about, or need some extra ideas read this post first)

Link to view our Instagram page on a PC here: 

Instagram is a photo sharing site app available on smart phones. Here is the link to the itunes store to download instagram for FREE and the link to the Android googleplay store can be found here.

This year we established both a twitter account and instagram account. 
We encourage you to follow us at:



Perhaps you have heard about Instagram and not really sure what all the fuss is about?

 Instagram 101:
  • allows you to share photos with your followers 
  • you can make your account public or private
  • people can "like" an image or leave a comment
  • you can follow other instagram users and hashtags
  • hashtags are a way of grouping topics or subjects together eg #foodpresentation, #curries, #foodtech, #glutenfree. When you select a hashtag, instagram will display all the photos "tagged" with that hashtag.


  • great way to glimpse into the world of followers or areas that interest you via # hashtags

  • uses filters to enhance the look of your image                        (see some student examples here)
  • use other apps such as snapseed, picsay (android) or coloursplash to edit your image prior to uploading to instagram. Assists students food photography skills, developing creative skills and an eye for detail, perspective, tone and clarity amongst others.
Taken by @foodatoakhill
  • effective way to provide a visual message to others. You can also take a screenshot of a note or use apps such as Versagram on ios or Textcutie on Android 

  • record of adventures and experiences that can be shared eg parents, relatives far and near.
  • can be used as photo prompts for story writing, source of discussion starters and to provide direction or interest in a certain topic.
  • could be used to keep track of progress (gardens, sport skills, science experiments)

How do you use Instagram in your learning space?  We encourage any school across the world or homeschoolers to share their learning journey with us by adding your instagram account in the comment section below. 

Have you seen our instagram challenge? Read about it here.

Instagram challenge

#foodat challenge

Are you up for a challenge? Have you read about the benefits of instagram here and would like to have a go?

We are @foodatoakhill and we encourage your school to set up an account and share your learning journey with your community, us and the world.

  1. Ask your teachers to set up an instagram account starting with @foodat......    and insert your school name at the end eg @foodatmarian (the first school to jump on board! Great initiative guys!) @foodatstmarks @foodatgleeson How to set up an account? Easy. INSTALL the FREE app from itunes (click here for link)  or google play (click here for ANDROID link). You cannot do this on a PC, however you can link your account to ink361 to view on a PC (see our link above @foodatoakhill or here)  If you are unsure how to sign up, see these Simple steps by wikihow. 
  2. Upload your school logo onto the profile pic and complete the bio. You can link the account with a school twitter or facebook page by configuring this in settings. You need to select this sharing option each time you post a photo.  If you do not have a twitter account etc, just leave that section blank.
  3. Comment below with the instagram account name so others can follow.
  4. Post your first photo by pressing the middle camera icon. Camera again to take a photo and two squares to choose an image from your library. Select "choose" (to add photo), then a select a filter. The best way to learn is to experiment. Play. It is fun! 
  5. If you are not happy with the photo, press the X on the top RHS.  Have another go. Once posted, you can also delete an image by pressing the three little dots under the image (RHS)
  6. Interact by liking and commenting on photos from Food technology classes around the world.
  7. You can use hashtags such as #foodat #foodtech #homeec #homeeconomics #food #foodphotography #foodpresentation #instafood to tag your photos to these photofeeds.
  8. Follow other schools using the comment back below.
Go on!  Get on board. Give it a go.  Share your instagram account with your class, mates, parents, extended family...and the rest of the world!  #unitedbyfood

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, 

 but by the moments that take our breath away