Scheck Hillel is ready for a strong online school opening with a swift return to in-person, on-campus instruction as soon as it is determined safe to do so. In preparation for both approaches, teachers have been receiving intensive training in educational technology applications - a certification program unique to Scheck Hillel.
The program was designed to deepen teacher expertise around 20 applications with one goal in mind: to increase student engagement and academic performance. As such, teachers have invested personal time in their learning this summer, completing personalized training modules with built-in assessments leading to certification; to date, they’ve completed a total of 452 training modules.
How will students benefit? Whether learning online or in-person, students whose teachers understand when and how to use edtech tools demonstrate greater engagement with learning. The right tools can promote collaboration, communication and critical thinking. An exciting new resource is Nearpod: a Kindergarten-Grade 12 platform that tracks skill practice in core curriculum areas and also provides virtual experiential learning.
Lower School teacher Kara Kersting appreciates the opportunity to develop professionally. “I always tell my students that learning never stops and the same is true for me...I want to offer my students the best...these certifications from Scheck Hillel allow me to do just that,” she said.
Iona Batito, Lower School teacher, reflected, “I think the ultimate goal is to have the students engaged and passionate about what they learn, and the first step to do so is by training teachers so we can pass it along. I have been planning on becoming a Google Certified Educatorfor some time now, and I'm happy to say that - thanks to this PD - I am almost halfway through.”
Led by Chief Academic Officer Craig Carpentieri and designed by I LAB Instructor and Lower School Technology Coordinator Nancy Penchev, the professional developmentteam also included Rabbi Avi Greene (Director of Judaic Studies and Hebrew Language Grades 6-12) , Robin Rimon (Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Kindergarten-Grade 5), Dror Karavani (Judaic Studies & Hebrew Language Director, Kindergarten - Grade 5), Jenna Kraft (Curriculum Coordinator, Lower School General Studies) and Tova Yemin (Lower School Hebrew Coordinator/teacher).
When school begins online on August 18, Scheck Hillel educators will deploy edtech tools that are designed to engage students and maximize their learning, in person and online. Scheck Hillel is blessed to have recruited and developed such a dedicated team of professionals from around the world and across the country.