Source: The Jewish Voice
As technology continues to permeate traditional classroom environments, more than 25 Jewish day schools are taking part in a new era of learning fostered by Bonim B’Yachad (translated from Hebrew as “building together”), an Israel-based online learning initiative founded three years ago. Led by CEO Aryeh Eisenberg and headquartered in Modi’in, Bonim B’Yachad offers Jewish schools an à la carte menu of academic courses that enable them to fill the specific needs of their students.
“Every student has a different way of learning, every school has a different grading system, protocols,” says Eisenberg. “We create courses in all academic subjects a Jewish day school could need—Judaic, secular, foreign languages, Advanced Placement—and then we fit into the existing program or culture of the school.”
The participating students take the online courses with real teachers in real time, often in the same format in which they would have taken a class in their actual brick-and-mortar school. The Bonim B’Yachad teachers, though situated 6,000 miles away in the Holy Land, can take part in back-to-school nights and are available to meet with the Jewish schools’ teachers and parents.
Eisenberg says that most schools use Bonim B’Yachad for one of three things: creating additional sections of existing classes, increasing their academic catalog, or addressing scheduling challenges.
“Sometimes it is impossible to hire part-time teachers for a class that meets 1-4 p.m. on one day of the week and at 10 a.m. another day. This online learning track could be the only alternative,” he says.
Schools pay for Bonim B’Yachad courses by the month and only pay for what they use, up to $5,000 per course per year. Since there are periods, such as the High Holidays, when schools meet less often, they pay less for the program during those times. All of the teachers are certified instructors with teaching degrees or experts in their fields. With the exception of the Hebrew-language teachers, staffers are generally American immigrants to Israel.
Read more at The Jewish Voice.