Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TTSP (Talmud Torah of St. Paul) Technology Update #3

We continue to use our fabulous technology in a variety of ways. Recently, a local rabbi visited our school and wanted to show footage of the report on the Israeli medical team's involvement in Haiti after the earthquake. Thanks to our new LCD projector, we were able to show this footage to the whole school at Kabbalat Shabbat. This is so much more vivid than simply describing the impact of the Israeli medical team there, and watching this together as a whole school community also raises the intensity of the experience over watching the report on individual computers. Our local shlicha also uses the projector to present topics about Israel in all of our classes. Sometimes her talk enables us to visit each other's classrooms and observe each other, which is a side benefit of having reliable technology (and reliable faculty!).

We've also posted our first YouTube video, thanks to our great new video cameras. Check us out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSWstqDijUU. You won't see our students since we cannot post their pictures on youtube, but we managed to create a little puppet show instead of showing the students, who are singing "Ha'Shkediyah Porachat."

Learning how to use the technology has been a slow process for us. Even just organizing all of the equipment and establishing a system of checking it out for teachers and students has proved to be a daunting task. If anyone has good suggestions of how to manage the equipment, we'd love some ideas. It has taken us until now to get all of it organized, and we are just now ready to do some teacher/student training on the equipment. The Hebrew team has used the technology all along, but our goal was to make this accessible to students as well, and we as a Hebrew team are still learning to do more than point and shoot. We're sure we can do much more with this technology and so our next step is to learn some more advanced methods.

Meanwhile, our upper school showed off their music videos at our Open House in December, and our lower school students continue to record their progress in reading and speaking. Recently, Kitah Bet students drew and labeled items in either their backpack, house, or car, and then had to describe what was in the backpack, focusing on the words "yesh" and "ein". although they had written down the sentences to say, their more advanced goal was to talk spontaneously about their drawings. Next step, for them to watch their videos and reflect on their speaking skills.

We're still loving this technology and looking forward to the next levels of development. Thanks, Avi Chai!

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