Joel Lurie Grishaver
After I posted my last TAP-BB/Blog entry on the risk of success as it applies to education and Jewish education, I got a very short e-mail from a friend who told me to do three things. This entry is a fulfillment of that request. The friend says (a) quote David Bryfman, (b) keep it short, and (c) write what you actually believe about Experiential Jewish Education. I like the writer of that e-mail so here is what was wanted.
The hot topic in educational technology these days is Google+ (otherwise known as Google Plus.) At first glance, it looks as if Google has created a social-media environment that, unlike Facebook, can be safe to use even in educational settings. It offers more sharing controls and options than Facebook, and some are saying it will provide the ideal environment to use in education. Check out the Circles and Hangouts features for their potential (and ability to create privtae, secured sharing spaces for classes, et al.) It’s too soon to really know if Google+ will be the service that finally cracks open the door for regular social-media use in schools, but if you have a Google account, sign up for Google+ and start exploring.
Facebook is possibly the most significant advancement in Jewish education in several decades. In 2011 one needs Facebook almost more than anything else if your desire is to offer the highest quality, most relevant Jewish education to the largest number of learners. Probably unbeknown to its founder, who grew up in White Plains, had a Bar Mitzvah and describes himself as an atheist, Facebook has indeed become the utility, at least in Jewish education that Mark Zuckerberg had always claimed it to be.
Idie Benjamin and Dale Cooperman
Early Childhood teachers preparing for the beginning of a new school year spend a great deal of time on the aesthetics of their classrooms. Hours are spent making the room “beautiful.” All that “doing” misses something so crucial. Getting ready for school is not ONLY about preparing the classroom. We want to go deeper than “face value,” or the attractiveness of the classroom. We want to talk about a different kind of “atmosphere” and a very different perspective on preparation.
I am a little person. Today is the first day of school. And I have some very important questions, but I am too young to articulate them.