Section archive - Technology & Computers
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Just over a year ago with the release of the William Davidson Foundation & Jim Joseph Foundation SmartMoney technology report, there was renewed interest within the Jewish community about how technology could enhance student learning. Further ideas were voiced through eJewish Philanthropy's Continuing Conversations on Leveraging Educational Technology. This article aims to enhance the conversation by suggesting a shared language and theoretical framework for moving Jewish ed tech from important yet disparate conversations to a more cohesive systematic goal focused dialogue.
Updated: Jul. 04, 2018
Career Choice Among Academically Excellent Students: Choosing Teaching Career as a Corrective Experience
The present study examined implicit motivations of academically excellent students' choice of teaching careers rather than more prestigious occupations. Open, in-depth interviews were conducted with twelve students. Findings indicate that choosing a career in teaching served as a corrective experience for painful past experiences, and revealed four types of implicit motivations: (1) The experience of helplessness and the need to strengthen the sense of self-efficacy (2) The search for interpersonal boundaries as markers of identity (3) The need to belong: Warmth, caring, and individual attention and (4) Compensation for an unjust and humiliating experience in childhood.
Updated: Jun. 28, 2018
Being a classroom teacher can be an isolating experience. You may not know where to turn for new ideas and wish there was a way you could benefit from the experimentation and expertise of others in classrooms like yours across the country. Fortunately, in the past few years, Jewish day school educators have been able to find networks designed to incubate and spread ideas and practices. As a network-weaver working at the AVI CHAI Foundation, I have an interest in understanding and documenting these networks, which could range from organized programs, such as the JDS Collaborative, for which I serve as program officer at AVI CHAI, to a much less formal Twitter chat. Let’s look at what these networks are, which ones are more likely to scale through successfully spreading ideas, and why.
Updated: Jun. 27, 2018
The use of games in education is not a new phenomenon, but in recent years it has caught fire. A 2016 survey found that the number of teachers using games and online apps in their classrooms had doubled in six years. Games are taking off in Jewish day schools, too. To proponents, the advantages are manifold, from promoting collaboration and problem-solving skills to reducing fear of failure, as students learn organically from their own mistakes much as they improve at video games with repeated play.
Updated: Jun. 13, 2018
The Potential and Risks of Internet Use as Permitted by Jewish Law Case Study: Internet Use by Students of a Religious High School – by Default or by Choice?
Google is celebrating its 20th anniversary – and the internet has become an inseparable part of the lives of adults, teens, and children. In awareness of the problems and challenges posed by the new world, various software programs have been developed, among them NetSpark (henceforth: the program), which make it possible to block and/or filter information received from the web (Wells and Lewis, 2006). In several Israeli schools, the management has decided to install a filter in their students' cellular devices in order to maintain safe surfing even after school hours. The option of blocking or filtering websites on school computers existed previously, but the innovation offered by the current program is the possibility of screening inappropriate content on students' smartphones. The study examined the association between installing the program on smartphones and utilization of leisure time among 120 female high school students, half of whom used the program. The association between use of the program and the students' sociodemographic background, smartphone use patterns, and utilization of leisure time was examined.
Updated: Jun. 13, 2018
This report, based on a four-year study of day schools that are introducing and implementing blended learning practices with support from The AVI CHAI Foundation, presents overall patterns of these schools’ goals and progress. Between fall 2012 and spring 2016, we visited schools, usually for two days of observing classes across grade levels and subjects and conducting interviews with teachers and administrators. We studied 23 schools, visited 80 classrooms, interviewed 120 teachers and administrators, and reviewed dozens of school and classroom documents in print and online. We also spoke with program providers and funders and tried out many of the online sites and programs the schools were using.
Updated: Jun. 06, 2018
Jerusalem – The Jewish Capital: Then and Now - An Innovative Online Program Taking Students on Location to Find New Relevance in Ancient Texts and Sites.
Against the backdrop of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, groups of Diaspora Jewish day school students went on location to examine a parallel scenario that took place 3000 years ago – King David’s decision to move his capital to Jerusalem. As they learned the relevant sections of Sefer Shmuel, they examined the geographical location and terrain of the city of David, as well as the archaeological findings discovered there, in order to answer the following questions: What were the political, religious, and security considerations behind David’s choice? Why did David choose to move the capital to Jerusalem when he did? Was it worth the risk? How was David able to conquer this highly fortified city?
Updated: May. 23, 2018
A Virtual Safe Zone: Teachers Supporting Teenage Student Resilience Through Social Media in Times of War
We examine how teacher-student communication through social network technologies may support student resilience during an ongoing war (i.e., the 2014 Israel-Gaza war). Based on student responses from open-ended surveys (N = 68), five content categories of emotional support were identified: caring, reassuring, emotion sharing, belonging, and distracting. The mere existence of continuous online contact with teachers also contributed to resilience perceptions. Interviews with 11 secondary school teachers revealed three main purposes for this communication: (a) delivering emotional support to students, (b) monitoring their distress; and (c) maintaining civilized norms of discourse. Practical implications and theoretical contributions are discussed.
Updated: May. 16, 2018
Israel Connect, a program where older North American adults tutor Israeli kids in English once a week via video chat began in 2011 as a side project of Sarah Gordon, a Canadian with Israeli parents who taught Hebrew in Ottawa. A former classmate of Gordon who taught English in Israel told her about some of her Arab-Israeli students who were struggling to pick up what would be their third language. So Gordon matched them with Canadian seniors she knew who could tutor them from afar.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2018
The AVI CHAI Foundation has, since 2012, been making a wide variety of grants in the area of blended learning. Our focus is on helping teachers use technology to promote personalized learning in their classrooms and assisting teachers in using systematically collected student data to drive their instruction. But this post isn’t about the advantages and risks associated with blended personalized learning. Instead, it’s about the changes we are seeing (and not seeing) in classrooms.
Updated: Mar. 21, 2018