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Six letters to innovation and creativity in education: GORDON

December 07, 2018

December 5, 2018. Seven o’clock in the morning we were rushing downstairs to get on the bus. We knew our destination, but we didn’t know what to expect. After a two hour drive, we woke up and on our left there was a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea. Finally, we reached our destination - Gordon Academic College of Education. The outside of the building was like any other office building in Israel, but once we got inside we understood it was a special place. It was full of colors and art, along the corridors stood interesting statues, on the walls hung paintings. Every corner of the building was utilized. There were lots of comfy places for students to socialize, work together, or study by themselves. It reminded us of Mr. Prakash Nar’s session we attended during our professional visit to Holon Institute of Technology. The session focused on designing new learning spaces, and we believed that Gordon Academic College of Education was a good example of that kind of environment. We were deeply impressed. 

The day was full of interesting sessions and presentations, but two sessions really grabbed our attention. The first one was about applying new technology in the classroom. We could experience using Kahoot and Nearpod, the latter of the two showed a new approach to handling a class and making it more interactive. Being students, we had lots of fun playing with the apps and thinking about the possibilities of taking them into our classrooms.

The other session that impressed us was “The Dilemma-Based Model” session, in which we learned about the “Six Thinking Hats” technique. The session introduced a different perspective on using critical thinking in the classroom.  During the session we could brainstorm ideas individually and then cooperate which each other to come up with a solution to the dilemma in a creative way. The best part of the session was the presentation of the solutions. Each group came up with an original presentation and we were surprised how creative our groupmates were. This technique can be easily applied in the higher education context to teach different subjects as well as prepare students for facing real life challenges. 
To sum up, our experience at Gordon Academic College of Education recapitulates the importance of blending innovative technology, interactive techniques, and effective learning spaces to achieve the best learning outcomes.  

Anna Fatneva (Kyrgyzstan)
Punithalingam Youhasan (Sri Lanka)
Carla Silvera (Ecuador)
Yashodhara Pant (Nepal)
Shorena Kvaratskhelia (Georgia)