For the last seven years Reimagine Education has held an event culminating in the presentation of “Oscars” for the best advances in education. These awards are given in 14 categories.
This year a Collaborative online project developed in Israel is shortlisted for the Reimagine Education award for best project to nurture 21st century skills.
The project consists of 3 MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) courses in Hebrew, Arabic and English entitled Introduction to Multiculturalism. The production was made possible by a competitive grant given by Digital Israel for courses on their campus site which offers free academic courses together with the Ministry for Social Equality with the Council for Higher Education of Israel’s Ministry of Education.
What makes this project so special is a number of things. Firstly, it is a joint venture led by Talpiot College of Education in Holon cooperating with 6 other teaching colleges; Sachnin College, Kay College, the Arab Academic College of Haifa, Ohalo College, Alkasami College and the Kibbutzim College. As well as the TEC Center at the Mofet institute.
Secondly, the team led by Dr. Elaine Hoter took two years to develop the concept and produce the courses. They developed the materials simulations and production without help from an outside company forming a new concept in online learning. The course focuses on the topic of multiculturalism and empathy to the other.
Thirdly, the courses involve the latest in educational pedagogy including all the 21st century skills by using small intercultural collaborative learning groups using interactive videos through the Annoto program developed in Israel.
But, although all the above reasons seem reason enough for this program to be nominated for the award, what is really innovative is that this is the first MOOC to take place in virtual worlds where the students are avatars and meet online in the worlds to carry out simulations and role plays and study together.