Source: World ORT
The latest Naomi Prawer Kadar International Seminar for Digital Technology in Jewish Education brought 30 South African teachers up to date with skills and resources which they can use to make Jewish Studies relevant and engaging for their students.
The main presenters were Peretz Tabor, an educator and technology trainer from Europe's largest Jewish elementary school, the Michael Sobell Sinai School in London, and Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky, Director of Educational Technology at the Frisch School in New Jersey and lecturer at MOFET International Online Academy, who introduced tried and tested tools and resources that can be implemented into curriculum design, lesson planning, and other areas of teaching and learning at different levels.
Among the sessions were the use of Google Earth in the teaching of Tanach, enabling students to use their cell phones to give instant feedback in class, the do's and don'ts of making engaging presentations, and using ICT to make links between Jewish Studies and other areas of the curriculum.
The Head of World ORT’s Education Department, Daniel Tysman, said this seminar had taken a different approach from the ones before.
“In previous seminars we had focused on practical tools that educators could take away from the seminar and implement straight away. During this seminar we tried to introduce a few more challenging ideas that are more sophisticated pedagogically,” Mr Tysman said.
These included “flipping the classroom”, in which children go through material provided by their teacher as preparatory homework so that subsequent class time can be used more productively for closer examination, explanation and application of the subject matter.
Participants were also led through the building of student-generated wikis, an on-line collaborative framework which enables kids to share, edit and discuss their coursework.