Saturday, March 29, 2008

Conference Ideas-Students Respond

I'd also like to share how much I enjoyed the conference on Monday. I almost feel as if I need to read through the entire blog again, now that I really know what everyone is doing!

When I got back on Tuesday I shared with my students some of the ideas each of you had. There were a number of suggestions that I thought could be implemented in various forms in our school, and I was curious to see what students thought of them.

Here's how they reacted to some of them:

1. The personal siddur idea really interested them. They thought it would be a great way to make tefillah meaningful to individual students, and we know how challenging that is! A number of students thought having the presentations playing during tefillah itself could be distracting, but all agreed that it was a worthwhile project in terms of getting kids to think about tefillah and find a personal way to relate to it.

Best of all, this is a project that can be fairly easily implemented. I'm going to bring it up at our next limudei kodesh meeting and see if I can get some support for it.

2. They were absolutely fascinated by the thought of creating videos. I shared with them both the high school project of documenting the Israeli soldiers' experiences, and the eighth grade trip video project, just to give them some idea of the various ways video could be used.

My thought is that this could be a project that could partly help the lack of limudei kodesh resources problem: have students create videos for limudei kodesh concepts.

It's a big project, and to make it work it would need involvement from all curriculum areas: the English teacher, for helping students write scripts, the computer teacher for software training, and almost certainly volunteers in the community. It would take a lot of organizing but if it's done right, the students would benefit immensely, and the results would be a real resource to build on.

3. The administration would love to get a better system in place for report cards/parental communication/web site, etc. We do have a fairly robust network in place so the infrastructure is there, but there aren't enough computers for teachers' use (without taking over the students' computer lab) and the tools for better communication haven't been put in place. This is an area that's just begging for development, and I'd love to get more follow up on that project.

One subject that didn't get much discussion at our conference (due to lack of time) is the blog/wiki area. This is something I'd like to explore. It would be interesting to hear how various schools are using these tools--both for teacher/student communication and for teacher/teacher communication. I do wonder if an old-fashioned news group/forum is perhaps the better way to go--I'd love to hear your thoughts on blog vs. wiki vs. groups. What do you use each one for, and why?

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