DT Online

DT Online:About

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Welcome to D&T Online

DT Online is a general reference source which aims to support Design and Technology education offering free access to a wide range of Design and Technology (D&T) materials, resources and software for pupils to use as they engage in design and technology activities as part of the UK National Curriculum. The service is under continuous development - comments and/or contributions from serving teachers are always welcome. You can contact us by emailing DT Online.

DT Online builds upon and continues to develop the Design Processor concept first introduced on the Acorn Computer platform in the 1980s.


  • Clicking on the D&T Online logo at the top left of each page will always return to the Main Page list of Content
  • Entering keywords into the Search Box on the top bar of each page will provide options to find Articles of that name, or Articles which contain the keywords.
  • At the bottom of each Article or Sub-Category is a link to the Category (or Categories) it relates to. Listed there are other Articles covering similar aspects of Design and Technology. Clicking on the Categories link itself will result in a listing of all Categories.
  • Selecting any of the images shown in the Media in category ‘###’ galleries will lead to details of the images including a File usage link to the pages containing it.

Structure of DT Online

DT Online believes firmly that making things is the best way of finding out about most things because it provides a real world and motivating context within which learning can thrive.

It is hoped the content of DT Online will be of use to pupils, students, teachers, parents and, indeed, all who share our interest in Design and Technology. In general, the level of language used reflects the task in hand and we have trust in the professional skill of teachers to adjust it to suit the particular age and ability range of children in their charge.

The general structure of the materials is as follows:

  • Articles are written and illustrated to include:
    • Emboldened key words (black).
    • Where possible, emboldened links (blue) to related DT Online articles or to external sources - usually WikiPedia.
    • The level and breadth of explanation expand with the links followed (e.g. a mention of A4 Paper in Beam Bridge Models links to a DT Online article about Paper and Card which includes a further link to the WikiPedia articles on Paper size).
    • Links are provided also to related aspects of other subject areas (e.g. history, art, maths and science) where these add breadth to an article (not emboldened if considered of general interest but not directly connected with the article).
    • Images link to an enlargement or, where relevant, to their original source.
  • Articles may also include:
    • Note: which addresses a point arising from the article text.
    • Safety Point! which draws attention to a particular risk - especially for children.
    • Activity: which suggest a mini-Task or exploration to enhance understanding of the article content.

DT Online Buyers' Guide

DT Online Buyers Guide suggestions are offered in good faith to help users identify suitable products with which to engage in the activities described throughout DT Online. Where appropriate, the examples are given also to illustrate the range and variety available.

The choices are based on many years experience advising schools of suitable resources for Design and Technology. Products have been selected as follows:

  • Products or brands based on our personal experience over many years advising schools;
  • or products which receive positive consumer reviews regarding relevant aspects and uses (i.e. usually 4 or 5 stars but in some cases a single review may not relate to its anticipated use in Design and Technology);
  • or non-critical items which are chosen on the basis of good value and availability.

A full list of all DT Online Buyers Guides can be seen HERE

DT Online is and will remain, free at the point of use and free of intrusive banner advertising which obscures the main content. ANY items purchased once Amazon is entered using any of the Amazon links provided on DT Online will, at no additional cost to you, generate a small income to help meet running costs, maintain the service and develop it further. Thank you in advance for any support you feel able to provide.


Potential sponsors are invited to contact DT Online with their suggestions. We can be contacted by emailing DT Online. All proposals will be considered against the criteria listed above and products may be added to the various Buyers Guides.

In the interests of keeping DT Online uncluttered for users, we do not anticipate the inclusion of additional box adverts and banners on the website other than within the framework provided by the Buyers Guides.


DT Online is established as a Wiki with the intention that it will become a collaborative resource able to share best practice in Design and Technology.

Since the prime audience for DT Online is children in schools, users will understand that all contributors will be required to register and contributions will be moderated.

Anyone wishing to contribute to DT Online, either regularly or as a one-off comment, should email DT Online.

Who are we?

Geoff Howard : Co-Founder and Lead Content Developer

Following a teaching career as a Head of D&T and work with examination boards at GCSE and ‘A’ Level, Geoff Howard served as Local Authority Senior Inspector/Adviser with responsibility for ICT and Design and Technology. Together with software development partners Dial Solutions, Geoff has been responsible for the creation and promotion of IT-based curriculum resources including Design Processor – the pre-cursor to DT Online.

He has held office as President of the National Association of Advisers and Inspectors in D&T (NAAIDT), for whom he organised a national conference on the theme "Making IT Work". He became an Honorary Member of NAAIDT and a recipient of the D&TA Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Design and Technology Education”. He has contributed to courses, conferences and publications nationally on the general theme of using ICT to enhance D&T and worked as an Independent Consultant for Design and Technology within the UK 'Building Schools for the Future' initiative

Phil Driscoll (Managing Director : Dial Solutions) : Co-Founder and Lead Software Developer

After working as a sound engineer with the BBC for several years, Phil Driscoll set up a company which developed the world's first interactive parametric CAD system. It's popularity in UK education brought him into contact with the NAAIDT, following which they developed Design Processor, which combined design tools, parts libraries, and information into a system which was the pre-world-wide-web parent of DT Online. In recognition of his work in D&T education, he was awarded the position of Honorary Vice President of NAAIDT.

His company specialises in developing web applications and deploying Free and Open Source software solutions. The programming team have mathematical, educational and engineering backgrounds, enabling them also to undertake contract programming for a number of industrial clients, including CNC post-processing software for Boxford Machine Tools. The group have been responsible for many successful educational software titles going back to the 1980s, including the best-selling My World software, in use in virtually all UK primary schools. The company has gained a reputation for producing innovative applications which feature a high degree of functionality while using only a minimum amount of code.