Discussions of effective, quality Jewish education are not complete without attention paid to the medium through which it is designed and delivered. Increasingly, this involves new technologies, including computers, telecommunications, video, webcasting, audio files, and more. It is therefore incumbent on the Jewish educational community to encourage the appropriate use of new technologies and multiple media in the creation, delivery, and support of Jewish learning.
An overview of the contemporary educational landscape is provided based on the input of a consortium of Jewish educators. Research and conversations with practitioners confirm that there are tremendous opportunities and challenges associated with the integration of technology into education, including Jewish learning. When used appropriately, these tools and resources can enhance teaching and transform learning.
Some key entry points for creating an educational culture in which educational technology becomes a normative resource for Jewish learning:
• Educational stakeholders must continue to serve as advocates for quality Jewish education and recognize the role that technology can play in its support.
• Administrators and teachers need to understand issues around educational technology so that they can make informed and educationally sound decisions based on their learner’s needs.
• Cadres of technology-using educators – in addition to technology coordinators – need to be nurtured through a range of professional development and networking, and be given opportunities and the support to experiment.
• Research and evaluations must be conducted and disseminated to help identify promising practices, to better evaluate digital learning in Jewish settings, and to avoid reinventing wheels.