Aspects and Tools for Collaborative Learning on th​e Internet

​Online Seminar – February 2, 5, 9 & 12, 2015

In an era that boasts frequent and varied technological changes and developments, the International Channel’s Online Academy at The MOFET Institute is delighted to announce an online seminar which will afford exposure to aspects and tools for collaborative learning on the internet.
Below you will fi​nd more information about the seminar lectures.
Target Population
The seminar is meant for anyone who is keen to enrich his/her knowledge of the field. No prior knowledge is required. You can participate in the seminar from your personal computer at home or at your place of work.
Teaching Staff
The lecturers are all highly experienced in the field with which they will be dealing in the lectures: Prof. Sheizaf Rafaeli, Mr. David Lachmish, Mr. Jay Hurvitz and Dr. Sarah Schrire.
​Technical Support
Throughout the entire duration of the seminar, constant technical support will be available to the participants. All you need is an Internet connection and earphones or speakers.
Seminar Structure and Contents:
The seminar, which will be held during the month of February 2015, consists of four 90-minute sessions:
Session 1: Is Technology Disrupting Education? From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg
Prof. Sheizaf Rafaeli 
Date & Time: February  2, 2015 – 8 pm IST, 1 pm EST, 6 pm GMT
Computers and networks are rapidly changing the school landscape.  Books are gradually becoming obsolete. Screens and processors are replacing the codex and bookshelves. If computers are the medium, what is the message? When computers and networks are added to the age-old and well-established mix of learning and schooling, what change will they bring about? And what change do we want? In other words, how do the new technologies and their use affect the opportunities for and processes of learning? Computers and networks afford new modes of work, learning, leisure, and social action that include multi-sense, interaction, nonlinear processes, elastic time frames, and decentralization. Each of these characteristics constitutes both a challenge and an opportunity. The flipped classroom, MOOCS, and other innovations necessitate a rethinking of ed and tech. 
In this talk, I will elaborate on the development, implementation, and evaluation of the use of online tools for learning, paying special attention to games and gamification, sharing and collaboration.
Session 2: The Road Not Taken – The Devolution of Knowledge Sharing in K12 Pedagogy
Mr. Jay Hurvitz
Date & Time : February 5, 2015 – 8 pm IST, 1 pm EST, 6 pm GMT
The start of the 21st century was a hopeful period for constructivist-based K12 education. The appearance of Web 2.0 tools that encouraged collaborative learning, both within the classroom and between classrooms, saw a flowering of experimentation. Teachers helped their pupils open blogs and created class wikis; they used social bookmarking sites to pool learning resources, and they shared these resources with their classes and with other teachers. Extensive networks of teachers trying out, and reporting on, these tools sprung up. Many teachers felt that these new tools were creating a framework within which their pedagogic vision could be realized.
Paradoxically, however, though these tools have developed and improved, and though access to laptops and tablets that might encourage their use have become standard for many classrooms, we are witness to a decline in the collaborative practices that they engender. In their stead we see an almost singular emphasis on “personalized” learning – digital tools are being used to accommodate the “needs”, or the “learning styles” of each pupil, and the end product, rather than being constructivist, is almost totally behaviorist.
This retreat from knowledge-sharing as a central component of K12 pedagogy stems from an institutional change in the manner digital tools are integrated into the school. A decade ago, this integration was primarily bottom-up, but today is almost solely top-down, and the vision of the classroom teacher is often very different from that of the district administration. ICT is employed to achieve higher test scores, rather than to encourage pupils to enhance their understanding. In addition, ed-tech entrepreneurs identify the districts, and their goals as their potential market, and as a result new digital tools no longer focus on the possibility of collaborative learning.
An examination of the sources of this current direction is necessary in order to renew the knowledge-sharing potential of digital tools in K12 education.​
Session 3: Learning Cities – Transforming the City into a Playground 
Mr. David Lachmish
Date & Time: February 9, 2015 – 8 pm IST, 1 pm EST, 6 pm GMT
 The 20th century and the information age are thought to have brought about radical globalization and realized the promise of a global village. However, in the past few years, particularly with the emergence of mobile technology and social networks, the focus has shifted to a more localized, authentic, and contextual approach. Location Based Services serve as bridges between local and global and afford access to the local sphere without the need for a mediator. The city, which constitutes the basic unit of analysis when defining “local”, has the greatest potential for utilizing Location Based Services, especially Location Based Learning, and for creating meaningful and authentic content. Join us in exploring different strategies for transforming the city into a playground, and get acquainted with several tools that can help you do that.
Session 4: Becoming an Online Teacher: Tips for Starting Out, and Making the Most of Your Journey
Dr. Sarah Schrire
Date & Time: February 12, 2015 – 8 pm IST, 1 pm EST, 6 pm GMT
Online teaching can be a simple transfer of the face-to-face mode of instruction to the online environment. Alternatively, it can be a self-standing pedagogy that transforms the very core of the learning and teaching processes – often quite dramatically. As a proponent of the second approach, which is based on an idealistic view of what education can and should be, I will relate to three key aspects of online teaching during the webinar: 
1. Course planning and organization in relation to instructional design and choice of interface;
2. Maintaining a balance between synchronous and asynchronous components;
3. Integrating different kinds of interactivity into your course.  
Practical tips and tools for each of the above aspects will be presented in order to help you make the most of your journey as an online teacher if you are already on your way, or make informed decisions if you are just starting out.
Please Note
The seminar will be held on condition that there is a sufficient number of registrants.
For additional information please contact Arye Ben-Hayim by e-mail or by phone: +972-3-6901488 / +972-52-2957124