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INSPIRING PLACES, INSPIRING PEOPLE

May 19, 2017

On May 15th 2017, during our visit to the Center for Educational Technology in Tel-Aviv, (CET), we had the opportunity to understand how the use of technology can make a difference. The CET is a very organized institution that uses team work as an element of success, which is something we have clearly perceived in several educational institutions in Israel. They create a variety of printed and digital materials that facilitate the teaching and learning processes. Furthermore, they provide access to education and support to people who may have difficulties to attend classes.


For instance, there are teachers who struggle to attend the required prof essional development courses; at the CET, they designed courses that can be taken by using mobile technology. This is a very convenient tool that facilities training, besides, they had different options to monitor the students’ participation and commitment. We believe that we can take that example to start making a better use of smart phones technology in our countries.


Moreover, we observed the online high school project, including the opinions of some of those involved. Despite the fact that being an online student requires a lot of responsibility and organization, we were able to witness some successful experiences we can learn from.


Taking into consideration the needs and changes that take place in our globalized world, online learning is something we need to explore in depth.


Our second visit was to a Pisgah center in Holon. There, a few things landed our minds, such that in school professional program meetings, should not be lectured-type and should enable the participation and empowerment of teachers. This will enable the teachers to imagine, moving ideas to educational products.


We learned the idea of teachers’ entrepreneurship, in which educators develop a product idea, by following some steps regarding feasibility and marketing. For instance, the teacher first identifies needs, then proceeds to present a proposal by analyzing product target and finally finds out all the dilemmas and difficulties she may find.


Once the product is complete, it can be sold to other colleagues who can benefit from it. This motivates the educator to innovate more and support learning.

  

On May 16th 2017, we had a chance to visit the Ariel Sharon School which reflects the concept of the PISGAH model of the teacher professional development program. The School is just 5 years old but the practice of PBL (Project based learning) was an eye opener for us. The principal faced a problem while adopting this model of learning and ultimately turned it into a successful practice.


This practice shows a way to adopt a model of creative learning among children, where they have friendly atmosphere, the most important aspect is their wish to learn. Projects are carried out during two or three months where some subjects are integrated into one goal (project).


As a result, children present this model thrice in their school year during the parents- teachers meeting, they also learn the main subjects as well as other micro subjects such as life skills, art, sports, music handicraft and dance.


This also shows us an alternative to think differently and prepare students for the 21st century with innovative ideas. While adopting this as a pilot project in our countries, we need to give autonomy to the concerned school Principal. So that the principal can adopt effective international practices in education.


We need to ensure that the community also participates voluntarily in the school quality enhancement and in upgrading the use of effective pedagogical technology. The system we need to develop is where the teacher will be a facilitator and their duties and responsibilities are well defined. So that they do their job with accountability and efficiency.


 


The Mashav family also visited the PISGA center in East Jerusalem at the old city. It is an institution that woks with the Arab community in Israel. It was a surprise for us to know that the center integrates the Israeli and the Palestinian curricula. This PISGA assists schools are in the area of innovation and, serving a community that is not socially and economically empowered.


The principals have a challenge in introducing innovation since the community is afraid of losing their cultural identity. This has given insight on how to cope up with this situation by educating and connecting the parents, looking beyond boundaries and adopting the best practices of education.


It was absolutely inspiring to hear the experiences of the principals and language teachers, as well as the challenges they face. They keep on going despite all the difficulties and they also manage to keep a positive attitude which is something we definitely learned from. Moreover, their stories and the way they narrated them, made us understand the social, cultural and political situation in Israel in a contextualized way.


To conclude, the four visits were unique and we learned different things from each one of them. Every place, every educator and especially every child we met, motivated us to learn more, to take back home new ideas and to share what we have learned here.

 

Written by:

Kelly Dainne Puentes

Dr. Surender Kr. Bhandoria

Lucy Wambui Gichobi

Jane Kimathi