Seventh Internet Surfer's Conference – Technology in Education: Essence or Simply a Shell?

June 23, 2008

Source: MOFET Institute


The MOFET Institute in Tel Aviv convened it's seventh internet surfer's conference in order to examine the mutual influences of education and ICT and enable educational researchers and practitioners to share their findings and experiences in this area. Many of the presenters were faculty of Israel's teachers' colleges and the MOFET Institute researchers and staff.


After the greetings, the conference opened with a plenary session on the interactions of education and ICT.


Dr. Uzi Melamed, Chairman of the board of MOFET Institute, spoke about Digital Technology and Education – Theory, Practice and the Future, in which he surveyed the policies of The Israel Ministry of Education on integrating technology in education over the last fifteen years and their implementation. He pointed out the direction which must be taken in order to allow the Israeli education system to develop in our transformative digital age.


Colonel Ayala Chakim, Commander of the IDF Computer and Informations Systems Center, spoke about what future students need to prepare them for the challenges of technology. She emphasized the need to guarantee that the youth of the future acquire a general wide knowledge base before they begin to specialize. It is also important to help the youth develop their differential skills and learn how to communicate and collaborate with those whose skills will help them utilize their own skills efficiently and productively. Youth must also be taught to be able to communicate and collaborate efficiently with machines.


Dr. Yair Amichai Hamburger spoke about Internet Empowerment. He particularly discussed the research which shows that the internet can allow many people the ability to improve their psychological and social functioning by utilizing the special characteristics of the web.


The conference also had two periods of parallel sessions in which 16 parallel sessions were devoted to various aspects of technology and education.


Among the sessions were:

Collaborative Learning Tools – Web 2.0 Blogs and Wikis in Teacher Education
Technology and Teacher Education and Mentoring
Technology and Education of Students with Special Needs
Technology and Creative Thinking Skills
The Internet and Cultural Creativity
Online Professional Development Communities


The conference concluded with an online televised lecture by Dr. Gerald Knezek, President of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, who delivered an address on Can We Train Future Teachers Online?. Dr. Knezek discussed a number of successful examples of online teacher training and showed how technology could help overcome problems of geographical distance, lack of local teacher educators and other difficulties in carrying out teacher training. He addressed a number of questions raised by the local audience.


The conference website contains the entire program and presentation abstracts. Accompanying slide presentations are scheduled to be uploaded to the website in the future.

Updated: Jul. 22, 2008