Sunday, November 07, 2010


We are continuing with our Education Technology Experiment at the Hebrew Academy in Huntington Beach, California.
Upon the return of one of my students from a recent visit to Israel, the topic of the Green Line (HaKav HaYarok) and the freeze on settlements (hakpa'a) was raised. The class discussed the issue in detail, and decided to call one of our contacts, a graduate of our high school, who resides on a Yishuv in Israel to hear her viewpoint on this controversial issue.
It was exciting to see her on the SmartBoard via the webcam. During our conference, each student had a chance to ask her a question through the microphone, which was passed around the classroom. The students listened carefully to every word she uttered in Hebrew. As she was speaking, I wrote on the SmartBoard the new words, verbs, and idioms she used. It was a real learning experience, but most of all the students enjoyed listening to her personal encounters with her Arab neighbors.
She emphasized that it is hard for us, in America, to understand the Arab mentality, which is all based on lies and dishonesty. She continued to tell us a personal story.
A neighboring Arab child blamed her for hitting him, and even showed his parents a wound he had on his body, which he claimed she caused. Eventually, the truth came out. That wound was caused by his own parents, who hit their children constantly.
"Stopping the building in the Yishuvim will not make them happy. The only thing that will satisfy them is getting back Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, and eventually all of Israel," she said.
We all know the facts, but when they come from our own peers who struggle with the Arabs daily, it sounds much more powerful and alarming. She really brought the point home.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Technology News from Boca Raton

Some new and exciting things have been happening in the Boca Raton Technology Jewish Schools in terms of Technology!

Hillel Day School:
We have begun a collaborative project between the 7th grade English teacher and the computer teacher using a Web 2.0 tool called Glogster ( The students have a project about memories for which they will using Glogster to create an online poster instead of a scrapbook which they used to do in the past. This is a pilot year for the project and both teachers are very excited about what the outcomes of this project will be. Because the project will be in an online format, students will be able to add video and sound components to their project that they did not have a chance to do in the past.
In the first grade class, students have been using the software Kidspiration, a program we are using to visually explore words. The students were assigned a letter to work with and they were assigned to look for words that begun with that letter.
In addition to those two projects I have been working with the Hebrew
teachers at Hillel in finding ways to integrate technology into their Hebrew curriculum. The picture to the right is from a SmartBoard Training we held a few weeks ago. This week we will hold our second SmartBoard workshop.

Weinbaum Yeshiva High School:
At WYHS I have continued to work one-on-one with teachers and we have also formed a group of teachers interested in learning about Web 2.0 tools and how they can use them with their students. This group of teachers meets every two weeks for about an hour and we discuss their use of technology in the classroom. In addition, I have also been working with the Hebrew teachers finding ways to use technology to make student's more engaged with the Hebrew language. For the past three weeks we have been learning VoiceThread, a tool where students and teachers can collaborate and even more so, they collaborate through speech which is great for language development.

Donna Klein Jewish Academy:
At DKJA we have been moving along with Google Apps for Education. I have held numerous workshops with the administration, staff, and the faculty where we have been learning how to use the various Google Tools such as Docs, Calendar, Forms, and Sites. The school is also testing the use of Cloud Computing, which has been very beneficial in the Digital Portfolios project we have begun this year with the English Department. I have also continued to work one-on-one with teachers on specific questions or projects they are working on.
A few weeks ago, I was also involved in delivering a workshop to parents on Cyber-bullying and Social Networks. I delivered this very well received workshop with my colleague Michael Luetjen, the computer teacher at DKJA.