As class is about to begin, I can hear the familiar music that lets me know we are technologically connected. I go to the TV, push in the videotape and press the record button. Suddenly I see my classmates as we unite to video conference together. They are in West Palm Beach, Florida; Houston, Texas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Kansas City, Kansas and Miami, Florida. We greet each other with a “Shalom, Ma Ha inyanim?” (What’s up?) just before our professor in Cleveland lets us know that it’s time to work. We have so much to discuss in our two hours together.
Every once in a while new emerging technologies “rock our world” - personal computers entered the market in the 80’s, the internet sprang into action in the early 90’s - and just as our lives have changed, so has education. The educational world does not always embrace change enthusiastically, but it is inevitable that changes in the way teachers and students live will change the way schools educate. Computers and networks are now part of the classroom in public and private schools across the modern world, although even in Jewish day schools they are used more for the advancement of general studies than of Jewish studies.
You’ve heard of them. You’ve read them. You may even publish one. But what exactly are blogs and how can they be used for Jewish education?
The internet is a wonderful source of information. With a few clicks, you can find a good restaurant, a medical diagnosis, Letterman’s Top Ten list from last night, or an essay on the history of Purim. But the internet is also full of dangers for the unwary; not just from the sexual or emotional predators we hear about, but from spiritual predators as well.
The Claire and Emanuel G. Rosenblatt Technology K-12 program at Donna Klein Jewish Academy has not only touched the lives of faculty and students alike, but has completely changed the way in which students are learning.
In his profound book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000), Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam discusses how Americans’ “social capital”, i.e., the nature of and extent to which we relate to one another, has been progressively shrinking. The book’s title stems from research that has ascertained that while there are more Americans bowling today, they do so as individuals rather than within leagues. Isolation from human interaction has many effects. It undercuts our sense of democracy—the recognition that our society is composed of multiple ethnic and national groups and the importance of all of us being represented and heard by government. It affects our need and ability to empathize with those who are different from us and our opportunities for exchanging ideas and concerns, exposing ourselves to those who may disagree with us. Human interaction can even teach us a thing or two that is currently beyond our experience, and make us sensitive to the needs of our fellow citizens and human beings.
In the last thirty years major technological advances have formed the way we work and live. Three are:
Each fall, the seventh grade students in my Jewish social studies class begin the year by participating in the Jewish Court of All Time online simulation. JCAT is an innovative learning adventure that is a joint venture between the University of Cincinnati’s...[More]
Members of RAVSAK enjoy many benefits which support the overall work of the school and the professionals who lead them. Find out more about membership benefits and how your school can become a member.
Use our interactive map of member schools to find a Jewish Day School near you.
In addition to serving Jewish community day schools across North America, RAVSAK has a special category of membership for Jewish and educational organizations, consultants and companies which share our vision of excellence in Jewish day school education.