Adrian A. Durlester
I’ve tangentially mentioned the concept before, but one of the trends in education (and business) that could prove to be a significant advantage for Jewish education of all kinds—day school, supplemental, informal—is the concept of BYOD—bring your own device.
The world has changed, is changing, and will continue to change. Each day I watch the endless parade of “Like if you remember this…” posts on Facebook. Dial telephones. Drive-in movies. TV dinners. Green Stamps. Slide Rules. Floppy disks. LPs. 8-Track tapes. Cassettes. Why soon, even CDs will be obsolete as everything moves into the “cloud.”
A while back, I saw an online tip about resources for creating certificates for students. As I was reading it, I thought to myself, how 20th century. Paper certificates in this day and age? Kill more trees so students can bring home paper certificates which will just get stuffed away, or lost, or thrown out? It just didn’t make sense to me, so I began to wonder what people in Jewish education could be doing to recognize student achievement in a more digital fashion. If one looks at the secular educational world, one approach that is gaining traction is using digital badges. A digital badge “is a symbol or indicator of an accomplishment, skill, quality or interest. From the Boy and Girl Scouts, to PADI diving instruction, to the more recently popular geo-location game, Foursquare, badges have been successfully used to set goals, motivate behaviors, represent achievements and communicate success in many contexts. A “digital badge” is an online record of achievements, tracking the recipient’s communities of interaction that issued the badge and the work completed to get it. Digital badges can support connected learning environments by motivating learning and signaling achievement both within particular communities as well as across communities and institutions.” (Source: Open Badges for Lifelong Learning)
Pinterest! That’s the latest rage. (Well, as the ads say, that may be so 27 seconds ago.)
Pinterest is yet another variation on the “social bookmarking” application theme, but unlike previous attempts at similar services, Pinterest is catching on because it is so easy to use. There are tools like Diigo, Delicious, Evernote and many more that attempt to extend the value and usability of all the bookmarks/favorites you collect in your wanderings of the the web. Pinterest is a great way to do this with more of a visual component.