Source: Jewish Education Project
In August, The Jewish Education Project proudly launched the Tech for Learning Initiative Summer Institute, supported by the Jim Joseph Foundation. Teams of educators from nine Jewish day schools came together at our Manhattan office for a three-day intensive learning experience that focused on meaningful use of technology in the classroom and culminated in a micro-grant application process. The participating schools were at very different points in their technology integration journeys and came from different denominations and regions within the Tri-State area.
The inaugural Summer Institute was a hit! Learners left enthusiastic about building a community and excited to implement their ideas. The learning was scaffolded to guide the teams toward projects that felt meaningful and appropriate for their specific school. Each school sent an administrator or technology leader along with at least two teachers tasked with planning a team project to be implemented at the school in the coming year. At the end of the institute every school team demonstrated a deeper understanding of how technology can be used in service of active, creative, and collaborative learning.
The Summer Institute was designed and led by Bryna Leider, Tatyana Dvorkin, Gregg Alpert, and Gary Hartstein, all full-time staff at The Jewish Education Project. All four coaches were selected for their extensive experience in innovating in Jewish day schools, as well as in varied areas of technology integration.
The schools spent the final portion of the three day institute outlining their own plans for piloting new initiative this year and working on applications for micro-grants to fund these pilots. The applications include some exciting projects which The Jewish Education Project staff are ready to fund and support with coaching in the 2017/2018 school year. Our team hopes that this learning model has the potential to create change and we look forward to seeing what emerges in the schools as a result of their participation. Although we have just begun this work, we see it as a means of creating eventual widespread and permanent shifts in the way day schools approach the intersection of technology and learning.