Section archive - Technology & Computers
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Jerusalem – The Jewish Capital: Then and Now - An Innovative Online Program Taking Students on Location to Find New Relevance in Ancient Texts and Sites.
Against the backdrop of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, groups of Diaspora Jewish day school students went on location to examine a parallel scenario that took place 3000 years ago – King David’s decision to move his capital to Jerusalem. As they learned the relevant sections of Sefer Shmuel, they examined the geographical location and terrain of the city of David, as well as the archaeological findings discovered there, in order to answer the following questions: What were the political, religious, and security considerations behind David’s choice? Why did David choose to move the capital to Jerusalem when he did? Was it worth the risk? How was David able to conquer this highly fortified city?
Updated: May. 23, 2018
A Virtual Safe Zone: Teachers Supporting Teenage Student Resilience Through Social Media in Times of War
We examine how teacher-student communication through social network technologies may support student resilience during an ongoing war (i.e., the 2014 Israel-Gaza war). Based on student responses from open-ended surveys (N = 68), five content categories of emotional support were identified: caring, reassuring, emotion sharing, belonging, and distracting. The mere existence of continuous online contact with teachers also contributed to resilience perceptions. Interviews with 11 secondary school teachers revealed three main purposes for this communication: (a) delivering emotional support to students, (b) monitoring their distress; and (c) maintaining civilized norms of discourse. Practical implications and theoretical contributions are discussed.
Updated: May. 16, 2018
Israel Connect, a program where older North American adults tutor Israeli kids in English once a week via video chat began in 2011 as a side project of Sarah Gordon, a Canadian with Israeli parents who taught Hebrew in Ottawa. A former classmate of Gordon who taught English in Israel told her about some of her Arab-Israeli students who were struggling to pick up what would be their third language. So Gordon matched them with Canadian seniors she knew who could tutor them from afar.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2018
The AVI CHAI Foundation has, since 2012, been making a wide variety of grants in the area of blended learning. Our focus is on helping teachers use technology to promote personalized learning in their classrooms and assisting teachers in using systematically collected student data to drive their instruction. But this post isn’t about the advantages and risks associated with blended personalized learning. Instead, it’s about the changes we are seeing (and not seeing) in classrooms.
Updated: Mar. 21, 2018
Israel has embarked on a number of policies meant to improve its education system, including reducing inequality among the ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities, as well as approving a 70 million shekel initiative last summer to improve English proficiency in schools. As the “Startup Nation,” innovation also plays a key role. MindCET, an organization that brings together educators and entrepreneurs to develop groundbreaking tech in education, has been working in this space since 2012 to find education tech (EdTech) startups, tapping into gaming, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, to transform the Israeli learning environment.
Updated: Mar. 19, 2018
Project Based Learning in Hebrew: Teaching a Second Language Class in a Public High School in Chicago
An example of integrating PBL in Hebrew language class is a PBL model offered by IVRIKAL, which was implemented at the Deerfield High School. Deerfield High School, is a highly-rated public high school in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. The Hebrew class was a combined class for grades 11 and 12. Student proficiency varied from novice, to intermediate and advanced levels. Some students had a Jewish day school background, some were heritage learners (students of Israeli parents) and some began their Hebrew studies in Grade 9.
Updated: Mar. 14, 2018
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Instilling 21st Century Skills in Graduates of Public Versus Private High Schools in Israel
This research examines the effectiveness of instilling 21st century skills in graduates of public versus private schools in Israel. The five skills that were examined are information literacy, critical thinking, interpersonal communication, self-regulated learning and the use of information and technology (ICT). No significant average difference was found between graduates of public and private schools regarding their command of the five skills. Nevertheless, several factors have been found that are related to students’ individual backgrounds.
Updated: Feb. 13, 2018
In a first-ever hackathon for Haredi engineers and programmers, more than 200 men and women brainstormed with mentors from the Israeli tech industry for 18 hours last week — to come up with ways to inject artificial intelligence and big data sciences into the study of ancient Jewish texts. Held at the Facebook Israel headquarters in Tel Aviv, the event was organized by KamaTech, a startup accelerator for ultra-Orthodox entrepreneurs, together with Sefaria, a website for Jewish texts and translations, which allowed the developers to use its open platform to develop software programs.
Updated: Feb. 12, 2018
This past summer I directed an immersive Talmud Fellowship program for high school women at Drisha, and over the course of a very intensive five weeks, I came to realize that the traditional Jewish learning culture may be more powerful than ever as a force to combat the pernicious effects of technology, and enhance its benefits. Certain aspects of the “old school” way of learning are uniquely equipped to address the new challenges that confront us and in that way, are themselves revolutionary. I will focus on three aspects of that learning.
Updated: Feb. 12, 2018
The Shluvim Social-Professional Network: A Bridge for Educational Challenges and Trailblazers in Education
Establishment of the Shluvim network in 2010 responded to the Israeli education profession's need to introduce innovative pedagogical challenges. This social-professional network provides a virtual space for its members, empowering them through discussion on different aspects of education. The article describes a case study, employing both qualitative and quantitative methodology (questionnaires and interviews), to identify the dynamics of quantitative components involved in the evolvement of the network and to elicit members' experiences in the communication process. Findings reveal challenges involved in informed use of social networking in education and show how participation in the professional network can assist members' professional development, although it is necessary to adapt to changes in usage patterns and competition with alternative social networks. The research enhances understanding of the social-professional network's role as an empowering environment for the Israeli education system in general and for teachers' education and professional development in particular.
Updated: Feb. 12, 2018