Source: Tech Rav Blog
Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky, Director of Educational Technology of The Frisch School in Paramus, NJ, blogged about his trip to Israel where he worked with a number of schools which participate in twinning projects with The Frisch School. He helped facilitate work on three global projects during his Israel trip sponsored by the Partnership 2Gether project of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish Federation of Northern NJ.
On Monday morning in Nahariya Israel, Rabbi Pittinsky taught a lesson to 9th grade students at the Alon School on the theme of Personal Identity. The lesson was based on the poem by Zelda – "Each of Us Has a Name" which students of Frisch's 9th grade Hebrew classes and the students in Nahariya are both studying. More than 40 students in Israel introduced themselves in the wiki discussion, describing their name, family, hobbies, and answering the question whether they would be willing to "change" their name in order to fit into a new group of friends, an important one for adolescents entering high school. This discussion will be continued on the Frisch Wiki by Morah Dafna's classes and hopefully will lead to continued dialogue and joint learning in the future.
Later on Monday, a group of sophomores, Skyped with Ethiopian Jews in Israel. Sophomores Marni Loffman, Isabelle Berman, Talia Schabes, Kayla Schiffer and Ariela Rivkin have each been matched with an Ethiopian student with whom they will correspond. The program emerged from the Frisch Africa Encounter, during which time the students learned about the obstacles the Ethiopian community faced when coming to Israel.
On Tuesday, students from Frisch's 11th Grade shared a class discussion by video conference with their counterparts in the Ulpanat Harel School in Nahariya about the topic of the Holocaust. This program was an opportunity follow-up reflections about the topics studied in last week's Integrated Day of Learning on the Holocaust which took place both at The Frisch School and at Ulpanat Harel.
Students discussed the following questions in both Hebrew and English:
- How could people remain human under inhuman conditions?
- What can we do today as Jews in America and in Israel in light of the way America and Palestine responded to the holocaust?
- What are proper ways of commemorating the Holocaust?
Talking to each other via Skype, students were able to form one global classroom as they shared their thoughts. Time went by so quickly that there was a demand for follow-up so both students at Frisch and the Ulpana will be continuing the conversation through asynchronous discussion on the Frisch Wiki.
Rabbi Pittinsky is scheduled to be teaching an online course at the MOFET Academy during the Spring semester: Using Web 2.0 Tools to Transform Teaching and Learning.