I have been a teacher of D&T for 30 years and one concept that students have had a difficulty with is drawing in isometric. In the past I have used isometric paper to draw on or use as an underlay underneath plain paper. Although for a number of students this caused more difficulty than it cured. Last year I began using twitter for the first time and began to read tweets about this great drawing tool, the IsoSketch tool, that helped students not only draw in isometric but understand it too.  The photos that had been tweeted looked encouraging and the teaching resources on YouTube wetted my appetite further. 

I decided to buy myself an IsoSketch tool to try out. Following the fantastic teaching support materials could not have been easier. I then tried the IsoSketch tool with some of the SEN students at school and within 5 minutes all were drawing cubes in isometric. The department then decided to purchase two sets of IsoSketch tools.

Initially the department used the IsoSketch tools with Year 11 and Key Stage 5 students to help with their coursework; to see students who lacked confidence in their ability to draw in isometric all of a sudden realise they could was fantastic. The confidence they gained from having this new ability to draw, has resulted in more interesting and creative ideas being drawn and also gave the students a ‘can do’ attitude towards their coursework rather than a ‘I can’t do’ attitude’. A number of Year 11 students have purchased their own IsoSketch tools and enter their exam with confidence that they will be able draw their ideas quickly and accurately.

The department then introduced the IsoSketch drawing tool as part of the Year 7 graphics project. 

The year 7 students took to the tool straight away and within a matter of minutes all were drawing the basic cube. The year 7 students really enjoy the cube drawing race, to see who can draw a cube the quickest using the IsoSketch tool, this year the record is 14 seconds. After the basic cube it is on to the dice and then the toaster.  One of the great things that the department likes about the IsoSketch tool is that because of its simplicity and the great teaching resources supplied by The Drawing Tool Company, the Year 7 students have begun to teach and challenge themselves. So not only does the IsoSketch tool allow all students of all ability to draw in isometric, but also encourages independent learning.  All students from Year 7 to Year 13 now ask, without prompting, to use an IsoSketch tool whenever they need to draw ideas. Every year a number of students form Year 7 to Year 13 all buy their own IsoSketch tools.

A quote I often hear from students (and parents) who did not opt for a D&T subject at Key Stage 4 is that if these tools had been around earlier they would have chosen D&T as an option, as it was their lack of confidence in drawing that put them off opting for a D&T subject.