I am reading the Connected Educator and have joined the Connected Educator's book club. The book is about shifting learning and teaching to be more collaborative and individualized. Good stuff!
There are weekly Wednesday night meeting as well as an active online site. There is a lot happening, however it is possible to jump in and participate to the degree that one feels comfortable/has time
A few of us are working on setting up a Connected Jewish Educator group--more to come on this soon.
The Connected Educators Book Club is an opportunity to read books about or related to online communities, then discuss them with your peers and the author, through asynchronous (self-paced) dialog (in a Book Club Ning) and weekly real-time...
I've just returned from two stimulating days at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. Learned/thought about a lot. Here's a great slideshare from Will Richardson about how to start/sustain conversations around change.
Slide 59 was particularly thought provoking for me: where are each of us on the spectrum of sharing/not sharing and learning/not learning? And does more sharing really equal more learning?
Another thoughtful response to the recent Haredi Asifa against the internet, this one by Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky. Pittinsky asks, "How does one deal with the darkness in some areas of the Internet? Does one spout curses and hide behind fences or does one seek to engage in this world and bring light to it?"
Good analysis of whether e-textbooks actually save money. The takeaway is that the jury is still out. Some of the potential savings, such as improved classroom behavior, are difficult to determine. There is also the important question of whether schools and teachers using these devices actually take advantage of their additional features or just treat them like textbooks that have been upgraded from a paper to digital format.
Despite the substantial investments states and districts have made in digital textbooks, and claims from proponents that they save schools money, many officials remain skeptical.
We have been talking about this a lot at the Jim Joseph Foundation--how do we find quality educational content for children, and what are the sources for learning about apps and sortware for children. This article provides a good roundup. Now I want to know: who is doing this for Jewish children's content specifically?
Over the last year I have been writing and exploring ideas around curating children's digital tools and content. There is now so much media ...
Julie Wiener reports on experiments in online Jewish learning for adults, and some concerns/challenges that have arisen.
Important quote from the Avi Chai Foundation's Rachel Abrahams, “A big piece of Jewish education is affective — you need role modeling, relationships, connection,” Abrahams continues. “There can be some of that online, you can develop a relationship with an online teacher — but you don’t see them pray in the morning or say Birkat HaMazon after they eat. There has to be some kind of balance.”
Post from Tzvi Pittinsky on a group that has been meeting in the NY/NJ area to talk about Jewish education and technology. This was particularly interesting:
"Rabi Beyda pointed out that the 1:1 iPad program is being utilized as a change agent. The reality of the new technology demands that teachers rethink their traditional approaches in the classroom. Frontal lecturing, which is rarely a good thing, just won't work in a classroom where students can merely Google the answers. Also, the creative abilities of the iPad and its many apps demand a more student centered project based approach to learning. I had a similar experience in my school, the Frisch School, when our move to our new building five years ago and the advent of so much new technology with the new building forced everyone to rethink the way they have been teaching. I believe that this type of content reflection and reassessment of teaching practices can have very positive educational effects. Obviously, thoughtful teaching and reflection does not require technology but the shakeup that technology can be one method to bring about such practice on the part of teachers."
Rabbi Pittinsky suggests that there should be a conference on Jewish education and technology...this is an interesting idea but I think that ongoing communities of practice like this one can be as effective as a conference if not more.
Happy Purim! Some useful resources from Behrman House...I plan to download the grogger iPhone app :-)
Yesterday at the Jim Joseph Foundation we studied some Purim texts with SF educator Maya Bernstein. An important idea that emerged was that Purim is about not only telling the story, but returning to the story year after year and finding new/personal connections to that story.
As I look at the resources on this page, a question that I have is: do they use technology to enable/encourage new ways of understanding/interpreting the story?
In the case of most of these resources, the answer is no; they are at the knowledge/comprehension level. I'm curious if others can share tech resources that enable learners to share or create their personal meanings, interpretations and connections to the Purim story.
"The most impressive technology-rich classrooms...look like creative businesses on deadlines." Thoughtful piece from Justin Reich, fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Reich also makes the point that we should not think only in terms of cost per student, but also in terms of learning gains per student.
Schools should use technology to rethink education, not simply speed up what they do now, Justin Reich says.
Great description of moving from "technology for technology's sake" to a deeper integration of technology into learning. The comments also interesting also. Note that the headline is somewhat misleading, if attention grabbing!
Once an advocate for using social media applications and cell phones in class, this English teacher has changed his stance on the kinds of technology teachers should incorporate into their instruction.
Thoughtful response from Eliezer Jones and David Pelcovitz to the haredi "anti-internet" rally held yesterday in New York. Jones & Pelcovitz emphasize teaching children to use the internet safely rather than isolating them from it.
Parents and teachers must instill in children a strong value system based on Jewish morals and traditions that allows them to become their own filters when exploring the Internet, write two Yeshiva University educators.
Congratulations to Jon Mitzmacher and his team on organizing this important professional development gathering...I'm looking forward to hearing more.
The Martin J. Gottlieb Jewish Day School (MJGDS) in Jacksonville has planned and will lead the three-day program that will facilitate educator teams in hands-on learning taught by technology and curriculum experts, provide ...
Report from KQED's Mind/Shift on explosion of mobile devices in schools.
One takeaway, "From where we stand now, it seems that the mobile revolution in schools is inevitable. But as the hype around the wizardry of the technology escalates, it’s imperative to focus the discussion on how to use devices not to mechanize and standardize, but to bring back the human, personal element to teaching and learning. Kids learning from each other, making what they learn personal and relevant, and giving educators more tools to reach students."