Recently I had the app-ortunity to correspond with a K-8 private Jewish Day School school on the path to becoming a learning organization for the 21st century. The Martin J. Gottlieb Day School (MJGDS) is experimenting with new forms of learning, as well as exploring different tools. They have been using iPads as a creative learning tool since 2011 when they purchased a cart of 20 devices. These 20 iPads are shared throughout the school, and they are in almost constant use.
In addition to experimentation with student learning methods and tools, they are playing with new ways of engaging teachers in professional development. The essential question is, “How do we inspire, build and promote a culture of self-directed and self-motivated learning at the school?”
In 2011, they introduced “hatzatah הצתה ” (Hebrew for Ignite) as a fun, optional challenge to their faculty. Hatzatah is their school’s adaptation of a popular presentation format based on Pecha Kucha and Ignite. Each presenter has 5 minutes to share an idea, broken down into 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. Hatzatot could be presented in Hebrew or English.
They began opening each faculty meeting with a hatzatah. As people embraced the challenge they were treated to the opportunity to learn more about each other’s passions. Their 21st century learning coaches were also available to work with teachers as they learned this new form of self-expression.
In January 2013, as part of their school’s edcamp day, they held a hatzatah contest using the open-ended prompt, “How have iPads impacted my practice?” They were thrilled to have five teachers embrace this opportunity to win an iPad. I was ecstatic to be invited with 2 other iPad in education experts, Richard Byrne and Mike Fisher to judge the contest. A checklist is included if you would like to hold your own hatzatah contest: Hatzatah checklist.
All five teacher videos are included below…Who would you choose to win?
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Stay tuned for the release of my first iTunes U professional development course “Student-Created Books in the iClassroom”. In the meantime, visit my Listly list entitled Student-Created iBooks & eBooks.