While their students were vacationing during the months of July and August, the faculty and staff members of the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (Lev Chana Preschool, HALB Elementary School, SKA High School for Girls, and DRS Yeshiva High School for Boys) had a special opportunity to enhance their educational-technology skills with a variety of workshops. Over 100 HALB educators registered for the institute this summer, with many attending multiple classes.
Under the direction of Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Rothman, HALB principal of academic initiatives and advanced learning, and with the assistance of HALB’s educational technology integrators Rabbi Aaron Fleksher, Mrs. Estee Lightstone, and Mrs. Rivky Watman, the institute offered beginning and advanced workshops on iPad apps; Google Drive, Forms, and Docs; Haiku; iMovie; screencasting; Voicethread, Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel; and Twitter, among others. The Smartboard Notebook Software workshop was given by master trainer Faigy Ravitz from the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education. Some of the institute’s workshops addressed the “flipped” classroom, which encourages students to see the lessons at home via teacher-created videos; what used to be homework is now done in the classroom and allows more student support on a one-to-one basis.
The institute was an incredible opportunity for HALB teachers to expand their educational technology toolkit and enabled them to see the potential in these tools.
Rabbi Rothman notes, “HALB is changing staff culture; teachers appreciate that the new applications are not about the technology alone, but actually improve learning in the classroom. HALB’s faculty and staff members’ dedication to their students was clearly apparent as so many took the workshops throughout the summer.”
HALB has always been committed to faculty and student growth in all areas of education, and with the Summer Educational Technology Institute HALB continues to promote the technological tools of the 21st century.