Tuesday, May 25, 2010

iPods for Hebrew

The iPod project has been quite successful this year. We are going to apply for a grant to purchase new iPods, and thus expand the program. Our idea is to use the iPods to store the Judaic music from our library, and then place these in classrooms for teachers and students to use. In addition, we want to have a full class set of iPods for Hebrew language learning, so that students will have their own iPod on which to record. In that way it won't take as long for testing and evaluation purposes.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Yom Yerushalayim

"Yom Yerushalayim is the day Yerushalayim was united in 1967-in the Six Day War," I said to my students. On this day, usually, the Prime Minister of Israel speaks to the nation and emphasizes the importance of a united Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. This year on the evening of Yom Yerushalayim Mr. Netanyahu addressed the nation. I captured the speech via Jing, loaded it onto the internet on screencast.com and presented the audio clip to my High School students on the Smartboard. The students listened to the speech, learned the new vocabulary, idioms and verbs. The next day, the students analyzed the verbs. On the Smartboard, using the floating tools, I drew a chart and the students had the opportunity to come up and write on the Smartboard filling in the Shoresh, Binyan, and Zman. On the third day, I presented again thet same audio clip of Netanyahu on the Smartboard. I stopped the clip at different intervals. The students were able to complete Mr. Netanyahu's sentences orally on their own. I recall the first time I organized this drill, the students had a hard time figuring out what they heard. Now, after several audio clips in which the students heard Hebrew as spoken in Israel through the electronic media, they are able to understand and mark down what was being said. I am very pleased with their progress.

Attached please find the audio clip:http://www.screencast.com/t/NmNhMDUz

Friday, May 07, 2010

Yom Ha'atzmaut & Trends in Student Filming

Back from Passover break our students had a chance to showcase some of their work. In honor of Yom Haatzmaut a group of our multi-media club prepared and presented a video that we used as a part of our ceremony during our school’s celebration. Using their Flip cams, the students conducted interviews of their peers as well as faculty and incorporated those conversations with some stock footage to make a well balanced and impactful short video.

Overall the clip was received with warm regard from the faculty and especially from the students. Our students showed ability with some of the various components and techniques with which we had experimented in our club. Most importantly I think that they were impressed with themselves and left the experience with a feeling of accomplishment.

Interestingly, I noticed a challenge that I was not really fully expecting: As the students worked on their video they not only gravitated away from a bit of direction that I had given them, namely that a video about Israeli Independence could concentrate on being moving and impactful, not necessarily humorous. Whether due to the spontaneous nature of the flip cam, or due to a fear of being anything but funny in front of their friends – their video gravitated towards funny interviews. The video was great and it was very well received, I just found it a point of interest that there was a slight aversion to producing something that was anything but entertaining. I am curious to hear if others have noticed any similar trend, or perhaps would care to offer there own hypothesis for its origin.

Since then the kids have been plugging away. We had an in-service; our Technology professional Francine Safdeye taught out students some techniques in film and photography including the rule of thirds. Our students are now working collaboratively on an end of the year retrospective and are gathering film and pictures. I am curious to see where the balance will be struck between nostalgia and humor.