Hundreds of Jewish Educators and School Leaders Convene at iJED 2014

March 19 ,2014

Source: The Jewish Voice


Yeshiva University’s Institute for University-School Partnership co-hosted iJED 2014, a conference focusing on innovation in Jewish education, at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale, NY, March 2-4.


Unlike traditional conferences, the event was structured to create a more interactive and in-depth learning and networking experience by modeling “flipped learning,” a cutting-edge educational technique in which students review lectures and materials at home and use class time for peer discussion and problem-solving with teachers. Conference organizers, including the Schechter Day School Network, Curriculum 21, Maytiv/IDV Herziliya School of Psychology, Koren Publishers Jerusalem, Gateways Access to Jewish Education and PEJE, shared learning materials with participants weeks in advance and invited them to engage in online discussion communities in preparation for iJED.


The conference’s unique structure embodied its goal: to bring Jewish day schools of all backgrounds together to model and engage in an ongoing dialogue about best practices in 21st century teaching and learning.


More than 500 school and lay leaders, foundations, teachers and educational experts from across North America attended the conference, which kicked off with Teacher Day, a full day designed to address the unique needs and challenges teachers face. Another highlight was the Cardboard Challenge, an interactive project modeled off the viral YouTube video “Caine’s Arcade” that encouraged participants to work together in playful and creative ways to get them thinking about how to inspire creativity in students.


The conference also featured intensive sessions called “Learning Labs,” which addressed a wide range of issues facing Jewish day schools across the board: financial sustainability and affordability, supporting diverse learners, and the changing nature of education in the 21st century.


Conference participants had the opportunity to hear from leaders in both the education and Jewish communal worlds, such as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at YU, and Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, a world-renowned author and lecturer and an expert on positive psychology.


Read more at The Jewish Voice.

Rachel Mohl Abrahams, Senior Program Officer at The AVI CHAI Foundation, shared a roundup of the Online/Blended Learning Café which was sponsored by AVI CHAI at iJED 2014 on the AVICHAI Blog.


Her piece contains a summary of the presentations and interactive workshops which were shared at the café as well as video clips and links to the materials used at the café.

She concludes: "There is a flurry of activity in this new educational arena, and AVI CHAI was pleased to see that many school leaders at the conference were interested in the café offerings."

Updated: Apr. 23, 2014