Sunday, June 09, 2013

JETS - Guest Post

According to recent studies online learning is becoming increasingly popular among classroom-based and home-based students worldwide. College-level studies went online soon after the Internet began to be widely used while over the course of the last decade, high school, middle school and elementary school studies have become increasingly available on the web as well.

Jewish educational institutions have been slower to integrate online learning models into their frameworks but today, almost all non-Haredi Jewish Day Schools and even many afternoon schools are including some form of online Jewish learning in their curriculum. In addition, many Jewish home-schooling families and families who live in remote communities where there are no formal Jewish schools are turning to online Jewish learning as a tool which introduces Jewish education and Hebrew studies to their students. 

JETS Jerusalem EdTech Solutions offers a variety of online Jewish learning opportunities. The program began in 2009 as a vehicle by which Israel-based teachers could teach Hebrew and Jewish studies in a dynamic interactive atmosphere with classes and groups of students from around the world.

JETS web-based learning is appropriate for multiple situations. It can be included as enrichment for Day School or afternoon Hebrew School classes or as a partnership between Jewish classrooms outside of Israel and Israeli classes. It is also employed as a core Jewish learning program for pre-teens and teens who either don't have access to a community Jewish school or who don't fit into their area's existing Hebrew/Jewish schools.

JETS courses include Hip Hop Hebraics in which students learn conversational Hebrew in a vibrant and meaningful format. Older day school and supplementary Hebrew school students can delve into core curriculum studies, such as Talmud and other Jewish textual studies with the Israel-based JETS teacher who brings the material alive as the class examines the significance of the ancient texts in today's modern world.

Other popular courses include Contemporary Jewish Issues, a multi-part series on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the deeper, spiritual meanings of Jewish holidays, Ancient Israel (a series of videos and related activities to enrich students' background on lifestyles in ancient times) and more.

JETS presents its programs in a non-denominational atmosphere that is inclusive of all Jewish streams of thought.  JETS presents Israel from a Zionistic perspective which encourages students to relate to Israel as an integral part of their own lives.

JETS also offers JConnecT, a dynamic program of Online Sunday School. JConnect presents Hebrew/Jewish studies to students who want to learn about Judaism and Israel while accessing the "classroom" from their own home. This program, recently profiled by the Jewish Military organization Jews in Green,  allows students to participate, virtually, in the Hip Hop Hebraics and Contemporary Jewish Issues programs (choose both classes or  just one class) which meet online every Sunday morning throughout school year. The classes present a Jewish Identity component of the students' Bar and Bat Mitzva studies both before and after the actual Bar/Bat Mitzvah date. Upcoming free Open Houses enable students, their families and other community members to join a sample lesson and experience the power of online Jewish learning.  

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