Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TTSP (Talmud Torah of St. Paul) Technology Update #2

We LOVE our LCD projector. We use it mainly in the upper school Hebrew classes as a link to websites and presentations that we can project on the wall. Last month we used it to teach students how to record themselves speaking Hebrew via avatars on the Voki.com website. This month students had the pleasure of seeing and hearing each other's Vokis thanks to the projector.

We also use the projector for whole school assemblies. At Kabbalat Shabbat last week, in connection with parashat hashavua, we created a PowerPoint display of Noach songs that we projected onto the gym wall so that everyone could see the words of the songs . We can engage students with different learning styles by showing the lyrics along with illustrations while the students are both singing and hearing the music.

Posting lyrics has been controversial. Some faculty think that children should learn the words by listening, while others like the visual reinforcement. Also, we have many teachers and guests who might not know the songs that have been taught in a particular class, and are therefore unfamiliar with lyrics, so we want to accommodate them. We draw the line at transliteration, though, since our central goal is for our children to have Hebrew reinforced in many venues.

One great benefit of the LCD projector is that the clarity of the words is highly superior to using the old projectors. The former transparency projectors had to sit among the students near the front of the auditorium, the cords got in the way of the students, and the clarity was sub-par. This time, we worked on the files up in our classrooms, plugged in the computer in the auditorium, and pulled up our files. They were beautiful, clear, and we could project from the back of the room. Immediately after Kabbalat Shabbat, a few teachers made suggestions for improvements. We made them right there at the computer, and the file was immediately saved on the school server, accessible from anywhere in the school.

Elef todot to Avi Chai!

Wendy, Riva and Avivit

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