HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal
From the Editor
I read a wonkmeme today to see if what a wonkblogger concluded from crowdsourcing was trending in the twittersphere.
I actually have little idea what that sentence means, although I wrote it. Apparently I’m 404 and have no Tweet cred, but I did engage this week in a heated Facebook exchange about Jewish day schools (which regrettably degenerated into hostility); I heard a story on BBC radio about female journalists who are bombarded with incredibly misogynistic hate mail every time they publish a feminist piece online, and I watched a Jewish politician self-destruct via text message. There are clearly downsides to technology.
But the times they are a-changin’ and you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Every day brings us new ideas, new technology, new words and new concepts. In the education world, STEAM trumps STEM, gamification takes over the curriculum, instruction is flipped, synchronicity beats asynchronicity, learners become makers and “classroom” becomes a very bad word. Or so one is led to believe from the intriguing articles that comprise this fall’s HaYidion. In Panama, desks and laptops are being replaced with tablet desks, whiteboards have replaced blackboards everywhere and the coolest teachers are using TED-ed, Knewton, Kerploof and CarrotSticks.
The timing of this issue reflects its timeliness. The coincidence of the new school year and Rosh HaShanah has always pleased me. I see no reason why a new year should start in the dead of winter. I love the fact that each autumn we welcome back our students with a sense of fresh purpose, newness and excitement—just as we approach the new year with resolve to atone for past failings and take up the challenge of living life fully, creatively and well in the months ahead.
This sense of opportunity, of optimism and enthusiasm pervades the work of the authors in this issue. They seek to break the bonds of the past and open the way for all of us to enter a future of virtually limitless potential. There are some caveats included, as well as some really sound advice. There are pieces that will inspire an instant desire for emulation and others that will make you sit back and say, “Whoa! That’s too far out for me.” But we hope that you will read them all, share them widely and benefit from them greatly.
May the upcoming year be a good, sweet, dynamic and educationally rewarding one for all!
Dr. Barbara Davis is the secretary of RAVSAK’s Board of Directors, executive editor of HaYidion and head of school at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School in Dewitt, NY. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Day schools are reconceiving themselves as laboratories of innovation, adapting creative and entrepreneurial ideas from numerous fields. Survey here exciting trends from open spaces to gaming, Problem Based Learning and STEAM, and discover how day schools are embracing and innovating education.
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