A recently debut technology is making that possible. It’s educational and a lot of fun.
Last year, Behrman House introduced its Online Learning Center to meet the evolving needs of students and educators. The OLC serves as a gateway to a new, purposeful way of teaching and learning that brings a comprehensive experience into the Hebrew school classroom in a relevant and fun way. Educators and students can directly access a growing library of Jewish multimedia content from anywhere, at any time. The OLC makes a big difference in the Hebrew language area because it allows teachers to provide Hebrew instruction in the classroom and then extend that time by enabling students to continue their studies online at home. It also allows students to work at their own pace, both individually and in small groups.
At present, 300 schools and tutorial groups are using the OLC, including 10 schools in the Baltimore area.
Vicki L. Weber, director of communications and customer support for Behrman House, told the JT that 75 percent of kids in kindergarten through second grade are using some kind of educational gaming on a regular basis.
“We think that should be available in the Jewish sphere as well,” she said.
Weber made clear that OLC is not meant to replace the mainstream classroom.
“When the students and teacher are together in person, they can use that time to develop relationships, which are really important,” she said.
But she noted that as families “get busier and busier, the time committed to Jewish education has been reduced. We think OLC offers educators a phenomenal tool that gives them more flexibility and encourages students to do things outside the class, like practice Hebrew or watch a video they can discuss when they get to religious school the next week.”