Redefining the Classroom Experience – We’re Flipping!

By Ms. Naomi Fredman, Director of Educational Technology

Traditional instruction, a “Sage on the Stage” has been replaced in many 21st century classrooms by the contemporary “Guide on the Side.”  The fundamentals of instruction in certain environments have shifted from the teacher-centered: providing students with content, to providing students with the means to acquire and develop the content.

Last month a delegation of North Shore Hebrew Academy faculty members ranging from Middle School to Elementary School and General to Judaic Studies participated in a three-hour Flipped Classroom professional development workshop at the Jewish Educational Project. Working in teams, teachers learned how to find and/or create digital educational content to support student learning.  Ideally, teachers provide students with videos or tools to view in advance of a lesson to support the concepts being taught.  This fall for example, Ms. Lisa Guggenhiemer’s Seventh Grade English class viewed a video produced by the Zimbabwe orphanage foundation, Zimkids, (see link), conversed with their peers via Google Classroom and will begin correspondence with students in Zimbabwe to develop relationships and understanding of each others lives.

In another example of utilizing student developed content to enhance the classroom experience, Morah Zahava Moskowitz’s Sixth Grade Navi class uses Powtoons, a web-based animation software, to develop animated interpretations of Psukim from Sefer Shmuel and present videos to classmates.  In this way, students delve into a Judaic text, create individual visual interpretations and develop their technological and creative skills.   As educators, we love to see students engaged on an individual level with the material while at the same time incorporating cross disciplinary interaction.

We would like to extend our gratitude to our incredibly generous NSHA PTA for supporting faculty professional development which allowed us to participate in the Flipped Classroom seminar.