Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Moriah School: We're Threading Now

With most of the preliminary tasks out of the way, The Moriah School, located in Englewood, New Jersey, is well underway in developing and integrating our VoiceThread project. Our IT department, led by the wise and talented Mrs. Lisa Fusco, has worked hand-in-hand with me in preparing for what is bound to be a successful initiative. In fact, we have recently launched this project on two levels - on the teacher and student front.
My 7th grade Gemara students just completed their first VoiceThread assignment: to circle the first Mishna in the 10th Perek of Pesachim and then to read and translate it. With great anticipation, the students were quite enthusiastic to begin ... and did they Thread! I am looking forward to expanding the VoiceThread tool to my 8th grade Gemara students, as well. After demonstrating its features at the beginning of the year, all of my students realized the vast potential in it.
Not only are my students invigorated to continue with VoiceThreads, we began to spread this wonderful online program among the teachers. This past Tuesday, on Election Day, while the students enjoyed the day off, the entire staff was engaged in meaningful workshops throughout the building and beyond. Among the Teacher In-Service workshops presented, was a seminar on VoiceThread. The entire Middle School staff, both Judaic and Secular studies teachers, were present to experience this amazing tool hands-on. A PowerPoint presentation was created, as well as an actual VoiceThread of the presentation - one that was opened to the staff to comment in return. In fact, the link is available for anyone to view and comment, although I will moderate the incoming comments. The link is:
From Gemara and Tanach rebbeim and morot to English, Mathematics, History, and Science teachers - everyone enjoyed this eye-opener of a tool. Many lively discussions emerged.
I am eager to build upon this strong foundation of interest and growth in educational technology, as well as to bring Judaic studies to a higher level of excellence and depth. Although the content may be centuries old, it is alive and thriving in the 21st century!

1 comment:

YGoldfischer said...

I checked out your tutorial about using voicethreads- it was very cool. I never heard of this online program before.
I'm curious how the students use is and then how you see/hear their work. Does each student create their username and then e-mail it to you for your to listen to them and then grade them on their reading? This would be a great way to help lower tracks work on their reading of tanach without being embarrassed in class or having to deal with buying mp3 recorders.

Is their a way to create a wiki version of voicethreads where each student in your class can access it and see each other's posts - or do you specifically want each student's post to remain separate for grading reason and to avoid embarrassment in case a student reads something incorrectly.)

What do you think about using this program for helping students review before a test?