Recently, a delegation of seven U.S. school superintendents visited Israel. It was an intense look at the geography, history,struggle for survival, education systems and contemporary life of this tiny nation—approximately the size of New Jersey and home to about 8 million people. The trip was organized by the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) to promote some of the hard-earned lessons learned by the Israeli people that could benefit others.He concludes that it will require a change in attitude from within from the people before they can resolve the territorial, religious and cultural differences. “But, change is possible,” he said.The delegation of U.S.
What about technology in the schools? The group visited the Nechalim School, near Tel Aviv, which is pioneering the use of the “Time to Know Project.” This project was developed and financed by Shmuel Meitar, co-founder of the Israeli hi-tech company Amdocs. school superintendents met with Danny Bar-Giora, Head of the Jerusalem Education Authority.The technology infrastructure means that every student in a class has a laptop and headset and it includes software that creates an educational experience for each student that moves them from instructional to constructivist learning. During class, when the kids are working on their computers independently, the teacher can keep track of them through a command center that monitors the work the kids are doing in real time. Since all the materials are on the web, both students and teacher can access them from home as well as school. Students can share their work with each other through an online gallery and teachers and administrators can easily monitor student progress.
Both U.S. and Israeli educators are most concerned about the kids who come to school with many serious issues that interfere with learning. Perhaps the most impressive school to tackle this problem is the Bailik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv that turns no child away despite their language, refugee status, financial status, immigration status of their parents, or special needs.Tal has recently turned over the reins of the Bialik-Rogozin to a new principal so she can take on a new challenge—a troubled school in Jerusalem.