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Adventure, Discovery, and International Camaraderie

January 21, 2017


The first week of the International Seminar on ICT in Education has been a wonderful time of discovery, adventure, and international camaraderie. All of us in the group came to Israel for the first time, and we found out that it is such a progressive, democratic state in the crossroads of Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. We all feel blessed that we came here because we learn so many new things and meet with fellow participants from different parts of the world, and it has been an awesome and delightful experience to meet, interact, and get to know what are happening in other countries with regard to the use of ICT in education. We are also warmed by the hospitality of the Israeli people who have welcomed us to their country to learn about the developments in their educational system particularly in relation to ICTs.

What We Learned and the Value of These to Us

We learned so many things which have value to us and among them are the following:

1.
An overview of the Israeli history and the Israeli educational system

Listening to Ma’am Yudith Rosenthal talk about the history of Israel made us understand more what Israel has gone through as a people and as a nation that is relatively young yet is making strides in progress and development in different fields.

We learned from Ariel Cegla, the MASHAV training coordinator, that in Israel, education is a common good. It is for the interest of the country; hence, it is free. Children with special needs are included in the classrooms. The principle that education is a common good and is for the interest of the country is striking to us. It is also valuable to learn that there is no repetition of grade level for any student, but that the students who fail a course continues to the next year level but goes to special or remedial classes in the subjects where they did very poorly. This way, the students are discouraged from dropping out of school to become potential problems in society; rather, everyone is encouraged to function and contribute to the good of the society.

 

As a start up nation, we became impressed with the fact that Israel has made strides in progress and development as a nation, giving importance to education to develop the nation. It is great to know there is no misery in Israel despite the social problems everyone faces in different contexts. We learned that the Israeli educational system is flexible and dynamic, and it is great to know about the non-retention policy. We appreciate the importance given to religion in the educational curriculum of Israel with emphasis given to core subjects. We like the educational philosophy in Evelina Rothchild Primary School where attention is given to Math, Science, and English but also give venue for development of other aspects of the human being.

  

 

2. Ict integration in teaching and learning

 
Since we are in the digital age and our students are called the “millenials”, it is vital to integrate ICT in teaching the millenial generation who are immersed in the world of social media and digital technologies. This can make learning enjoyable and can encourage learner participation. We see that is indispensable to prepare our teachers to teach our native digital children to handle tools and resources for educational purposes, teach them to think, to truly learn to be creative and competent to live in a world full of competition and inequality as shown in the context of our developing countries. We find the Israeli educational system inclusive and very efficient in many ways that we wish our countries could be just as efficient and inclusive.


The speakers in the seminar (like Lihi Telem, Damian Filut, Zim) introduced us to the use of ICT in Education and ICT in the Educational System in Israel. We see these new items of learning as valuable tools that can be used to enhance, improve, and reinvigorate teaching and learning in all levels of education: primary, secondary, and higher education. We still have to explore and learn more how to use some of these educational applications, but with practice and the motivation to enliven our teaching with the use of digital technologies and educational applications, we can really improve and adapt our teaching methods and strategies to the millenial generation.

 

From the group presentations on success stories, we saw how our co-participants and fellow teachers from different parts of the world actually use these educational applications, and we learned more from them.

 

With these experiences and insights, we will take to our respective countries the absolute commitment and struggle to achieve an educational alternative as we are now in the 21st century, with technologies and resources that we must utilize to make teaching more effective and suited to the present generation. We will leave with the commitment to fight to create a generation of teachers open to change and motivated by facing the revolutionary world of ICT.

  

 

4. Teaching and Learning in a Community of Thinking

 

The alternative pedagogical philosophy and method discussed to us by Yoram Harpaz is of immense value which can highly improve our teaching and learning because we will aim for a community of thinking in our schools where big ideas can come up for the betterment of society. We think that we can integrate Yoram Harpaz’s alternative educational pedagogy with ICT since we can use online tools to create community of thinking where big ideas can come up.

 

How we learned what we learned

 

We learned all these things by listening to our speakers, learning from the videos and presentations shown and discussed by them, engaging in educational games, group work where we learn from each other and work with each other, group presentations where we learn from each other, the group dynamics and workshop, and the professional visit we make to Evelina Rotchild Primary School for girls. We think everything we did or engaged in actually helped us learn new things - from listening to doing to collaborative group work to a professional visit to a primary school in Israel.

 

In this international seminar, we have observed that time management is one of the strategies to success. Everything and everyone must work as scheduled. Moreover, in all the learning situations, collaboration is very inevitable. Working as a team allows participation of the parties involved. This enables easy learning as it gives way to exchange of ideas.

 

 

More Things We Want to Learn and How Would We learn these

 

We need to learn more how to select and use the most appropriate educational applications and online learning resources, and we think that the group assignment and our individual contributions to the group work can help us develop ourselves further on the use of ICT in education. We also think that the professional visits to the other educational institutions in Israel can give us rich insights on the actual use of ICT in education which we can share or apply to the contexts of our respective countries.

 

By Belinda Espiritu, Pauline Koky, Peter Onyando, and Maya Velasco