The TExES Technology Education 6 – 12 Exam is a certification examination that is designed to determine if an individual has the knowledge necessary to teach a variety of courses related to the use of technology throughout society for students at the middle or high school level in the Texas public school system. This exam specifically assesses the individual’s knowledge of technological applications related to communications, computers, construction, manufacturing, transportation, and the individual’s knowledge of the teaching methods that are necessary to effectively teach these topics and other similar topics. The Technology Education 6 – 12 Exam may be required in order to teach certain technology-related courses within the state of Texas depending on the specific teaching position the individual is pursuing. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that are related to the following areas:
- Fundamentals of Technology Education (17%)
- Communication (14%)
- Manufacturing (17%)
- Construction (17%)
- Energy, Power and Transportation (17%)
- Biotechnology and Computer Technology (17%)
The exam-taker will have five hours to complete the exam and the exam will be scored on a scale of 100 – 300 with 240 set as the minimum score considered as passing for the exam. The Technology Education 6 – 12 Exam is offered in a computer-based format and the registration fee for the exam is $131. However, there are usually other exams and fees that are required in addition to this exam in order to become certified as an entry-level technology education teacher at the middle school or high school level within the state of Texas.
Sample Study Notes
1. Define basic information technology concepts and essential applications.
There are six basic concepts important to understanding information technology (IT). These concepts should be introduced to students beginning in the first grade and continuing through the high school years.
- BINARY: brief representations of long strings of numbers used in computations
- ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange): letters and punctuation signs combined with strings of binary numbers
- HIERARCHY: the order to understanding and using information technology; this concept is sometimes referred to as “nesting quality”
- WORLD WIDE WEB: the www is a communication tool that links information via bursts of binary data
- STORED PROGRAM: a CPU (central processing unit) stores multiple sets of instructions and determines the next step in a process.
- ROUTING: sequences of binary numbers move through a connected network
The three essential applicable benefits of the basic concepts are:
- WORD AND NUMBER PROCESSING: formatting of documents and spreadsheets
- SEARCHING THE INTERNET: using the ASCII encoding system to find information
- GREATER EFFICIENCY: increased speed in finding, comparing, and transmitting data
2. Discuss how the evolution of information technology affects educators.
Information technology changes rapidly; it may be only a few months before the next generation is introduced. Because of this, it can be a challenge to keep current hardware accessible and be knowledgeable about the newest versions of popular software. Educators face especially difficult obstacles because of budget restraints and the time needed to research, prepare requests, and obtain approval for new software and hardware, which in all probability means most school districts are several generations behind. How can a teacher cope with this real-world situation? The best way is to stay current with advances in information technology through reading and research. Develop lesson plans that show students how to approach new and unfamiliar software and hardware. Most software applications do not change dramatically from one version to the next; many improvements are slight and based on user requests. There are only so many ways to set up a spreadsheet or create a document. New hardware usually just adds more memory and faster response time along with a few “bells and whistles.” The basics do not change.
3. Define and discuss graphic design.
Graphic design is both the process of visual communication and the product created. Using typography (the features of an object), the visual arts (paintings, sculptures, drawings, etc.) and page layout (fonts, margins, object placement, etc.), designers create an image that tells a story. The primary tools for the graphic designer are a creative, imaginative mind and a keen eye for detail and balance. They must also understand the message to be conveyed and the audience for which the message is meant. In the beginning, the artist developed the idea or studied a copywriter’s text, drew a sketch of the message and laid the page out using moveable renderings. Designing by hand is limited only by the artist’s imagination and skill. In the computer age, it is both easier and more difficult to practice graphic design. It is easier because of the availability of multiple fonts, the ability to maneuver objects and the capability of quickly duplicating the finished image. It is more difficult because the computer is limited to the fonts, clip art and photos stored in memory.
4. List some industries that use graphic designs.
- TECHNICAL WRITERS use graphics to illustrate schematics, explain complicated diagrams and enhance complex text. Sometimes pictures are needed when words are not able to convey the message accurately or adequately.
- MARKETERS use graphics to sell a product, introduce a concept, or enhance a company’s identity. When color and copy are combined with a logo to create a corporate identity, it is known as branding.
- EDUCATORS rely on graphics to illustrate and explain. Creatively formatting information using pictures, graphs and white space makes books easier to read and understand.
- The ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY tells stories. Whether it’s a film, theatrical production or comic book, graphic designs are used to set the scene and create a mood.
- JOURNALISM reports facts, analyzes events and offers opinions on diverse topics in print and on television. Graphics are used to illustrate, inform and entertain.
- WEB DESIGNERS are critical players in developing the look and feel of a web site. They work with marketers, developers and software engineers to combine visual and interactive communication tools that appeal to the target audience.
5. Discuss how technology has affected manufacturing.
In the last twenty-five years, manufacturing processes have undergone tremendous change. It is no longer possible to remain competitive and cost-efficient without using some form of technology. From the back office bookkeeper and inventory clerk to the production process on the plant floor, technology has created huge changes in the way business is conducted. From computerized accounting systems that include sophisticated inventory controls to complex machines that produce products for consumption in a myriad of industries, manufacturing has embraced technological tools. Information about raw materials, production time and the availability of the finished product must be accessible to everyone, from the purchasing department and the machine operator to marketing and sales, in order to avoid costly delays, missed sales and, ultimately, dissatisfied customers. Collaboration along the supply chain helps manufacturers build a better product, integrate new solutions and expand the business while striving to exceed customers’ expectations. A tech-savvy workforce helps ensure that accurate and timely information is easily accessible to those who need it.
6. Describe the product lifecycle process.
The product lifecycle proceeds in order through the following phases: concept; design; manufacturing; testing; approval; marketing; sales; service requirements; and disposal. Along this path there are many people involved in a multitude of departments, each of whom contribute their particular talents and expertise to the journey. All parts of the process are interrelated and must work together to ensure the success of the product and ultimately guarantee a satisfied customer. PRODUCT LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT (PLM) is only one part of a manufacturer’s information technology (IT) structure. The other parts are the:
- CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM) team, who are responsible for communicating with the customer.
- SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT (CRM) team has the same function as CRM, except its focus is on the various suppliers needed to produce the finished product.
- ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING (ERP) team is responsible for ensuring the appropriate human and necessary financial resources are available to ensure the other areas can function.
7. Define construction engineering.
Construction engineering is the planning, managing, and building of highways, bridges, airports, railroads, buildings, dams, and reservoirs. To be successful, a construction engineer must have knowledge about and experience in engineering principles, management and business practices, budget and other financial requirements, and human behavior. The profession requires the ability to multitask at every phase. The project proceeds from concept to design to construction, with many parts in each phase and many people with specific talents needed to ensure the structure is built within the required timeframe, according to the specifications, and without exceeding the budget.
As projects have become more complex, it has become expedient to integrate technology into the process. This has been a difficult transition for many construction companies, because middle managers and field personnel often believe each project is unique and therefore it is not feasible to “computerize” the process. Too often these well-meaning folks have been unable to see how technology can reduce errors, increase efficiency and avoid problems.
8. Explain the functions of these members of the construction design team: architect, interior designer, surveyor, civil engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, structural engineer and fire protection engineer.
These definitions are from The American Heritage College Dictionary, Wikipedia and Webster’s New Explorer Desk Encyclopedia.
- ARCHITECT: plans, designs and supervises the construction of large structures such as bridges, buildings and airports
- INTERIOR DESIGNER: produces a functional, coordinated area using color, texture, lighting, scale and proportion
- SURVEYOR: determines the boundaries, area and/or elevation of land or structures on the earth’s surface
- CIVIL ENGINEER: designs, constructs and maintains large structures, such as highways, dams and bridges. After military engineering, it is the oldest engineering discipline.
- MECHANICAL ENGINEER: analyzes the application of heat and mechanical power and the design, production and use of machines and tools
- ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: designs circuitry and equipment for power generation and distribution, machine control and communications
- STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: inspects, analyzes, designs, plans and researches the technical, economic and environmental components of structures
- FIRE PROTECTION ENGINEER: identifies risks and designs safeguards to prevent, control and mitigate the effects of fire. They evaluate safety and property protection goals.
9. Define biotechnology.
The United State Department of Agriculture defines biotechnology as “any technique or technological application that uses biological systems or living organisms to create or modify products and processes of food production, sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry.” The United Nations Convention in Biological Diversity defines it as “any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.” The two definitions are essentially the same. Stated simply, both define biotechnology as any biology-based technology used in agriculture, food science and medicine.
Biotechnology is not new. Our early ancestors used it when they discovered the different ways to make wine, beer, and bread. Fermentation mixes a one-celled organism with bacteria, yeast, or mold. As the microorganism digests the food, this biological activity causes them to rearrange themselves and form new substances so they can continue to live and reproduce. That process, in its simplest form, explains how biotechnology works.
10. Define some of the terms used to identify different branches of biotechnology.
Biotechnology is used in health care, crop production, industrial use of agricultural products, and environmental applications. Researchers identify the different branches of biotechnology as:
- RED BIOTECHNOLOGY refers to any medical process or application (such as gene therapy) and the production of antibiotics and pathogen-derived compounds.
- GREEN BIOTECHNOLOGY applies to any process with agricultural applications that might produce environmentally-friendly solutions to a potential global food shortage.
- WHITE BIOTECHNOLOGY refers to industrial processes that consume fewer natural resources while producing industrial products.
- BLUE BIOTECHNOLOGY refers to relatively rare marine and aquatic applications of biotechnology.
- BIOINFORMATICS is an interdisciplinary activity that uses computer applications to collect, organize and analyze biological data in the various branches.