About My Lessons
Each lesson that I offer to my students tries to address the question that arises from all the technological and cultural changes we’re experiencing.
How to consume?
Today, children consume plenty of videos, computer games and other content on the Web. They are exposed to culture, art, history, creativity, emotions, inspiration and.. also to violence, pornography, sophisticated manipulations and more. Most of the discussions that adults have with children about consumption on the internet are deal mainly with the amount of time allowed to be in front of screens or whether the content is permitted or forbidden to consume.
I believe there is a lot of educational potential inherent in these contents. It is an injustice in my eyes not to engage and provide the students tools to deal with the mass of content. So for an hour a week, together with the children, we watch videos together ... and TalkAlot of them.
My goal is for my students to gain from this class a sense of responsibility for the next time they will be exposed to one video or another, to acquire skills to criticize and analyze what happened there, or share with others what they experienced there. It is important for me to help the children to develop and express an ability of thinking critically and to know not to fall into the of various manipulations that the network operates. In addition, I aspire to have the ability to express themselves and their unique vision of the world, as well as the ability to connect different phenomena that happen on the web and the feeling that their loves and hobbies have a place in the world of learning.
Each lesson deals with a particular topic that can be raised by the students or a subject that I found important to talk about.
Sample of topics -
The entry of technology into our lives
The culture of admiration
Gray cases of violence
What is a waste of time
The new stars
Viral videos and rolling his life
Theories about the future
New inventions and moral questions about how they will affect us
The gender spectrum
Short video about the lesson
The schools put a lot of emphasis on reading and writing skills. I believe that in a graphic world where children communicate mostly on the web through various means, it’s critical for us to help the children acquire reading and writing skills of world of now days.
Writing - The goal is to be independent to create and use the various tools that the Internet offers. Editing pictures, sound and video, using various of applications and softwares (and sometimes the children are more familiar with those than me).
Reading - How to read web situations? Humans for years have learned to communicate with each other face to face. In recent years the communication has changed completely. I believe that we are still creating a new ethics for networking. I invite the students on a journey of creating this ethic, understanding how to communicate, understanding the implications, dealing with real situations that happen on the Internet, understanding the different social networks and the means of communication in each one.
Examples of what happens in the lesson:
Try, fail and learn - I show something that can be done (like my name in a spinning circle) and send the children to try and create it by themselves, realizing that experimentation and error, helping each other and networking are the keys for achieving independence on the net,
We tried together in the classroom to create an Internet campaign and talked about the meanings of each expression, word, design and branding.
Children shared applications or software they knew and enriched classmates with tools to express themselves on the Web.
We responded to things that happen on the Internet using the various social networks and programs and analyzed them.
How to create?
Create on the net
Learning is done everywhere and certainly it is done through the web. People tend to get confused that the only way to get information from the Internet is to use Wikipedia. I believe that this is important to give to the children tools and conceptualization on different ways to learn from the network, to find together with them the things that help them to learn and where they can get more information about the things they are curious about.
The older ones and I take an online academic course. There is a growing global phenomenon called MOOC where universities all over the world take their best lecturers and open the most interesting courses online and for free.
So, I’m learning a subject I do not know, together with the class. We watch the videos at home (some of them in shared Skype conversations), and some alone, and in the class we are practicing and making sure everyone understands the material.
With the understanding that in today's world many of the future work are done in a team work, in which each one is supposed to bring his strengths and feel that there are places where he is less strong and can get help from others:
There were students who have good English skills and helped to translate,
Some were good at organizing and helped to organize the learning,
Some were good at technology and helped everyone to understand how to use the various tools,
There were those with a developed sense of humor who made sure to enrich the class with jokes from the material that came up.
There were those who made sure that each encounter had someone who would bring candy and play music during the intermission.
In Israel, the MOOC phenomenon is expanding in cooperation with the municipalities and the Ministry of Education. I’m happy to be part of the national process and recommend to all of you to follow the developments of those subject.
Learn how to learn online
how to be in control?
The subject of using mobile devices is new to us all. However, it is difficult for many adults to see how much time the children devote in using the cell phone and the computer compared to the amount of time they devote to other things. Sometimes the adults decide to take control by themselves and tell the children how much time they are allowed to use the devices while they sometimes act in the same way and are even more connected to the mobile device in their hands.
In the "TechTeam" lesson, I suggested to the various students in the school to take responsibility for the legislation and enforcement of the technological field in the school, whether by installing and setting up the school equipment, opening the computers room, supervision of other children while they are in the room, decide which content is aloowed and which not, access to the equipment closet and help teachers when needed etc.
As part of the lesson, the children discovered how difficult it is for them to comply with the laws they set up, and we went through a very interesting process of taking real responsibility for surfing, where and how. Thus, we gained the trust of the other adults or the trust of the school children and we were able to develop more and more the school's technological field.
The children, some of whom sometimes tended to avoid embarrassing social situations, took responsibility and took a course on how to approach children, enforce and help them on the computer.
Today, the group continues to work independently by the school children.