November 19, 2011
Source: World ORT
World ORT's operational arm in Israel, Kadima Mada, has joined forces with specialists at the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to design and deliver an on-line course to train English teachers how to adjust their pedagogical techniques in order to make full use of the Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) and associated equipment being installed in their schools.
Called English on Board, the course is part of Kadima Mada's pedagogic involvement in the mass introduction of "smart classes" to Israel's relatively under-resourced peripheral communities which the organization is spearheading through the $25 million Schulich Canada Smart Classroom Initiative.
More than 50 English teachers are due to attend the opening, face-to-face session at three schools in Tirat HaCarmel and Sha'ar HaNegev, and Nahariya. But the rest of the 120-hour course, except the final session, will be conducted on-line with mentors providing theoretical and practical material and supervising the teachers' discussions.
The course has been designed for English teachers in grades 7,8 and 9 but it can be easily adapted for teachers in primary school, too. And Kadima Mada is already working on similar courses for teachers of other subjects.
"Without training, teachers will use the new equipment like glorified blackboards," said Hebrew University's Professor Elite Olshtain. "The interactive perspective is complex, it's not easy. Much more is required of a teacher to use an IWB effectively. She needs to plan her class much more effectively and integrate everything into an interesting and successful lesson. But it's much more rewarding; done properly, it can really change things."