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Three different activities that really inspired us

June 02, 2016

ROTHBERG HIGH SCHOOL


The Rothberg school experience and its vicinity was amazing!


We were greeted by the school principal, she was very kind and welcoming to us. They received us with a wonderful snack, then we moved on to listen to the reflection that the school principal made about education.


We also had a chance to listen to some of the teachers that coordinate programs in the school. We got a brief introduction on the Multidisciplinary program, the Coaching for Success, Volunteering and Social Involvement, and Computer Science Programs.


After the introduction we visited the media studies and communication class. We saw students making documentary film as well as an award winning documentary that the student created a few years back. We got the opportunity to see the students editing a current project using Adobe Premiere.


In every room that we entered, we noticed that the school provided the needs of the students. We were impressed with the kind of students they have in their school. It was quite impressive to see the way the students excelled in every endeavor they have partaken.

 

We could feel the enthusiasm and excitement on how they showed us their expertise on broadcasting, music editing, film making, journalism  and on sciences. They acted like professionals in what they were doing. They showed so much self-confidence and motivation to finish their project.

 

We were even more surprised when we learned that these were students who had low self-esteem issues and how the teachers were able to mold and bring out the best in each one of them.


103.6 FM

On our visit to this schools, there were so many lessons learnt. On our program of the day we visited a Middle school called the Makif Jet. We were warmly welcomed by the school management and staff. Presentations started by a welcome remarks, followed by individual teachers from selected different departments; for instance, coaching students for success, volunteering and social involvement activities, computer science programs and TV and radio broadcasting. This is where students get engaged in media studies and communication class, where we saw learners busy editing videos and sounds for broadcasting.


Another area of interest is that of learners with disabilities. The joint effort of the school, parents and social workers was vital in identifying children with disability to qualify for this program. There are various methodologies, strategies and techniques that are employed in order to assist children with learning disabilities. The program seems to have been designed for all levels in the schools.

 

After visiting the media and communication center we had the opportunity to see some student projects an app developed using Python. We saw how the student managed to create a program that uses a motion sensor and the computer’s webcam to take pictures when it detects movement. The evidence shown by the students and teachers showed us that these students are self-learners motivated to to their best.


After the presentation, we had the opportunity to do a Padlet and Google Slides Worksh. These activities had the purpose of introducing more ways of collaborating in an online environment. This was a practical exercise that reminded us that we need to be very patient when working specially with technology.


When we left this school it was very clear to us that they are about working with the community, this is how they help their students be successful.

3D Education Workshop at Shazar Middle School  -  XLN  MakerLab 


We visited the XLN Makerspace. Here we found a workshop for the people from the school and the community to come and craft their very own objects. The creation begins from designing to printing the final product. Some products are on printed on paper but the lab also has four 3D printers that can be used. The two Makerbot printers seem to be the most frequently used, but the other two 3D printer is also very useful to print.

 

We talked a little bit about the history of 3D printing, which can actually  be considered as an additive type of art. We had some background information on the Make A Thon that the XLN has done in the past and how they have been able to impact the community with prosthetics that have been designed for people with some type of physical challenge. This gave a lot of meaning and purpose to the workshop that followed.


Our guest prepared a Tinkercad workshop. (
www.tinkercad.com ) During the workshop, we had a brief introduction to to the tool. We had the chance to do a couple of exercises, included the design of a house using basic geometric figure. Then we got the opportunity to explore other tools within the program. There was an important discussion at the end where we talked about some uses for these types of tools within the classroom. The important part is that we all saw some relevant activities that we can do with our students from working in algebra and geometry in creating part for the projects that the students are working on. Having a 3D printer helps students solve real problems with real solutions.




At the end our guests, they gave us some samples of 3D printed projects for us to take as souvenirs and as a reminder of the opportunity that are out there for learning.

Peers Meeting Israeli and International Educators

A total of ten teachers from schools in Jerusalem were invited to discuss with our team and share experiences as part of our seminar. It was nice to meet the teachers. Sharing one another’s expertize was a great experience. A lot of different practices and innovations about Israel schools and classrooms were discussed, ranging from the curriculum, pedagogy, classroom management, to community involvement, government contribution and school culture.  We had so many conversations going on at the same time that it is impossible to recall all of them. But what is possible is to say that as educators we have the same challenges and we have a lot to learn from each other. Having the opportunity to talk was a reminder of this.


Some of the conversations we had were about schedules, so we can say that the Israeli school year begins in September and ends in June the following year. Also that classes are sometimes divided according to ability so that learners of the same ability can learn at their pace. Teachers strive to ensure all students excel and provide extra assistance to those that are weak.


Students are subjected to a uniform exam for them to earn a card to enroll for university entrance exam.  Those who don’t have cards take one year studying at the university before they can do the matriculation exam (Bagrut).


Discipline cases occur and there is a lot of work to be done with this students including counselling. Punishment is by making the student come to school one hour early, or be suspended from school for a day.


They have parents’ day twice a year. There are no class prefects or monitors. Schools hold assembly only at the beginning of the year and special occasions.


There were conversations about education policy, law, facilities, salary, training, curriculum and students, just to mention the most common ones. But having the opportunity to ask these teachers about their perceptions and their daily actions and answering some of their questions, is what gave this activity a true collaborative conversation about education.


No one had all the solutions or all the knowledge, but together we started some conversations that we hope make a significant impact on all those who had the privilege of participating.


By: Daniel Kgosiemang, Hèctor Hernàn Londoño Giraldo, John Owuor Oyuga, Gema de Castro Jarata, Truong An Vu