Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Classroom Technology

The Jewish Standard reports on  the very generous donation of iPads to Noam, Yavneh and Frisch by local chemist Dan Fried.  Children have these tools available all the time & it's critical that they learn how to use them for educational purposes like doing math and research and not just for playing fruit ninja. I've seen first hand how computer games help children learn how to read & research topics they are learning.  Tools for Jewish studies are also becoming increasingly available online.  I also think the idea of video conferencing with teachers in Israel and around the world is a great idea as well.  You could also have students who are home sick attend classes via their iPads.

The article suggests that technology can be used to reduce tuition costs though it didn't specify how, since no one is suggesting eliminating teaching positions and replacing them with the computers.  He'atid has long promised to use technology to reduce costs by eliminating the need for a resource room though the resource room costs are small compared to the overall budget.

So far the best example I've seen of technology being used to reduce tuition costs is provided by Yeshivat Avir Yakov in New Square. As reported in The Jewish Week "since 1998, been allotted more than $3.3 million in government funds earmarked for Internet and other telecommunications technology."  What's even better is that they don't have a single computer available for the children! So technology funds go directly to tuition reduction without losing anything to the pesky middleman of computers or iPads!