The Journey and the Challenge – First and Fourth Grade Pilot
Wow! So much information, so much learning, so much insight … Everything swirls in my head, data, data, data, quotes, quotes, quotes, interviews, interviews, interviews, students, teachers, managers, and high-tech people. We spoke to everyone, pondered, deliberated and mainly watched, listened and absorbed. We arrived very prepared. We prepared all of the questions in advance, consulted again and again about the accuracy of the wording and the uniformity of the questions so that we could compare answers and generate statistics … Wow … What a job that was … Now I have a huge table with lots of quotes related to content development, interface, and more.
So what do we have? What am I talking about?
I am talking about the time that the iTaLAM team completed a string of visits to numerous schools on multiple continents. Our liaisons traveled around the world to Europe: Yael to Zurich, Sveta to the Soviet Union, Tania and Racheli to Moscow and Baku, and Liat, Miriam, Vital, Shoshi, Tova, Drorit, and Esti, traveled to the United States (California, Chicago, New York, and New Jersey) where they met with Rosalyn, Faigy and Namma who prepared and coordinated the visits to the schools after countless phone calls and changes. At the end of the professional development visits, there were four magical days of joint learning and focus groups with the highly experienced teachers, development and production teams.
What can I tell you? There was an unparalleled level of learning. And as I always say, you have to listen to teachers and students, they know everything! They just need an opportunity to talk, and for us to listen to them. Many organizations fall short by developing materials, content, games, songs and stories, after which they do not listen sufficiently to consumers, who in our case are students and teachers who know exactly what they lack and exactly what they need. We all have clear common goals:
- To acquire knowledge of the Hebrew language and Jewish heritage
- To strengthen ties with the Jewish people and Israel.
- Assuring that our children are Jews who care about a Jewish and human soul.
These are the challenges. We all strive with all our might to achieve these goals.So what do we have? We have the songs, stories, games and activities for first and fourth graders. Our success will arrive if we succeed, or rather more appropriately when
we succeed, in achieving our goals. The pilot made it clear to us that we are on the right track. Students are discovering wisdom through their digital experience in their work with iTaLAM. They help each other and exude a positive energy of sharing and learning in the classroom. The teacher is free to help students who have difficulty or to advance stronger students. While there remain things to be fixed, enlarging the icons in the interface, adding games in fourth grade, slowing down one song, fixing the characteristics and behaviors of several games, in general, the feedback was positive and we continue with all of our efforts. As early as June 2018, you will be able to purchase the iTaLAM Grade 1, Ariot and Shalom tracks, and iTaLAM Grade 4, daily life track. This is something for you to look forward! Be prepared! iTaLAM Grade 1 and iTaLAM Grade 4 are ready to go!