web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Tradition And Technology: E-learning In Jewish Day Schools


Students in Israel get computers to assist in their schoolwork.

Students in Israel get computers to assist in their schoolwork.
Photo Credit: Tal Shahar/HANDOUT/Flash 90

Orthodoxy is often perceived as resistant to change, but the vibrancy of many Orthodox day schools indicates otherwise. In my experience as an educator, Orthodox schools are interested in exploring different types of educational formats. In particular, online learning is becoming an increasingly important component of day school frameworks. Schools incorporate E-learning for a variety of reasons:

●    Online learning enables schools to incorporate Israeli educators who have expertise in particular subjects and can offer an Israeli flavor to the learning.

●    Computer activities allows for differentiated learning.

●    Partnerships can be established between Jewish classrooms in North America and Israeli classrooms.

●    Day schools can combine classes, including sex-segregated groups in which boys and girls participate in the same online class but don’t meet or interact in “real time.”

●    The variety of available online tools creates a dynamic classroom environment that fosters increased student participation.

●    Online learning promotes collaborative learning in which students have numerous opportunities to interact with their peers and use their classmates’ knowledge, comments, and research to enhance their own knowledge of a subject

●    There are more and varied opportunities for teachers to assess student progress and for the students themselves to evaluate their own progress.

Over the past year I have been involved with JETS, Jerusalem EdTech Solutions, an organization that offers online educational programming to Jewish day schools throughout North America. These schools span the Jewish spectrum, but it’s clear that increasing numbers of Orthodox schools are adding E-learning to their curriculum, with encouraging results. The teachers are enthused, the students are engaged, and the depth and strategy of online education allows for deeper, broader, and more intensive learning opportunities.

JETS course options cover a wide range of Jewish and Israel-related curriculum including core curriculum subjects in Tanach and Gemara and issues that impact on students’ connection to the land and state of Israel. Schools use online learning to promote the students’ language acquisition, to reinforce different concepts, and to open up students’ encounters to new worlds and experiences. Web-conferencing enables students to discuss ideas and concepts interactively – often with the facilitator or peers in Israel.

Some schools are reporting significant success in “flipping” their classrooms so that learning activities that could once take place only in the classroom can now be completed in the student’s home, leaving the classroom for teacher-directed learning and more one-on-one interaction.

JETS is presently facilitating a year-long Contemporary Jewish Issues course with Yeshivat Kadimah of St. Louis. Kadimah is a new high school and the classes are still small. JETS and Yeshivat Kadimah established the Contemporary Jewish Issues class as a synchronous class in which the entire student body can participate in the class together, even as the boys’ and girls’ sections remain separate.

Smadar Goldstein, JETS director and the class facilitator, meets with the students twice a week via web-conferencing. She presents the course content and the activities both orally and visually via a Learning Management System (LMS). Students use the LMS to view their assignments, complete their assigned work individually or in small groups, track their own progress, receive and respond to teacher and peer comments, and make use of a variety of evaluation tools to assess their achievement.

The Contemporary Jewish Issues class has always been one of most popular JETS programs. In presenting the class to Yeshivat Kadimah, JETS is taking the course one step further by incorporating reflections on Jewish heritage – the students examine multiple aspects of Jewish history in the light of current events that are impacting on Israel and on the Jewish world. The multi-generational discussion includes the opinions of historical Jewish leaders and thinkers, textual study, and biblical and rabbinic perspectives.

About the Author: Laurie Rappeport lives in Safed, Israel. She is an online Israel and Jewish studies educator for JETS Israel and works with the Jewish Educators Awards (http://www.jewisheducatorawards.org) to increase the visibility of online education in the Jewish educational landscape.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Tradition And Technology: E-learning In Jewish Day Schools”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
U.S. Capitol
It Is Bipartisan, These House Democrats Will be at Bibi’s Speech
Latest Indepth Stories
Silwan, in the eastern part of Jerusalem, founded by Yemenite Jews in 1881

Kristof’s op-ed “The Human Stain” was flawed and wrong; more than anti-Israel, it was anti-Semitic.

Hur and Aharon holding up Moshe's hands as Joshua battled Amalek.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Egypt-how undeterred by fear of G-d”

Illustration is by Israeli artist Hanalisa Omer

Stalin’s plan for the Soviet’s “final solution of the Jewish question” was totally assimilating them

Bibi and Obama: Head to Head

Many Jews oppose the speech fearing it will further erode relations between Israel & US. I disagree.

The University of Georgia Student Government Association called for more investment in Israel.

Without an alliance comparable to ISIS, Al Qaida & Iran, militant Islam will conquer the Middle East

Ultimately, Esther, Netanyahu, and we, the Jewish people, must and will rely on the true King, God, for our salvation from this genocidal threat.

Netanyahu addresses a clear, present & lethal threat to the US/Israel/WORLD; NOT political bickering

Buried in the tax-returns of the JCF is millions of dollars funneled to NIF in the last few years.

Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world

Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life

It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident

“GETT’s” being screened for Israeli Rabbinical Court judges at their annual convention.

If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism

Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.

March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck

More Articles from Laurie Rappeport
Students in Israel get computers to assist in their schoolwork.

Day schools can have boys and girls participate in the same online class but they don’t meet or interact in “real time.”

The Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island

The Newport Touro synagogue was never officially named “Touro” – the community called itself Yeshuat Yisrael. By the mid-19th century, however, the Newport synagogue was recognized, though never formally, as the Touro Synagogue.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/tradition-and-technology-e-learning-in-jewish-day-schools/2014/04/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: