Applications Now Open! Darim Online Social Media Boot Camp for Educators

We are thrilled to announce that applications for the new Darim Online Social Media Boot Camp for Educators (2012-2013) are open! Learn more… and apply!!

  • Are you a creative, curious, risk-taking educator in a Jewish educational setting?
  • Do you have a really great idea for using new media / educational technology that youve wanted to test out?
  • Do you want Darim to be your personal coach and mentor as you plan and launch your project?
  • Is your organization ready to think about what it means to achieve your mission in a digital age?
  • Are you interested in joining a community of like-minded educators for 9 months of intensive professional development and collaborative learning?

Darim Online is pleased to announce the opening of applications for our next cohort of Social Media Boot Camp for Educators. This program will support innovative Jewish educators in using social media effectively in their work, and assist their organizations in evolving models for success in the digital age.

The Social Media Boot Camp for Educators program is made possible through a generous grant by The Covenant Foundation.

About the Program

Darim is seeking to mentor up to 10 Jewish educational organizations, represented by 3-5 person teams, that are engaged in innovation and risk taking and which serve North American Jews. These teams will participate in a year long professional development and coaching experience to advance their work.

Program Structure

This Boot Camp cohort will run during the upcoming academic year, September 2012 – May 2013. Boot Camp teams are expected to commit 5-10 hours per month toward related professional development and project implementation (including webinars, coaching, and project development).

The program includes:

  • Participation in our series of monthly skill-building webinars which includes Darims overall Learning Network for Educators (teachers, directors of education, rabbis, lay leaders, and others interested in Jewish education);
  • Private coaching and consulting with Darim consultants to address strategic and tactical goals, and to help design, implement, and refine a technology-supported project. Teams from each organization will meet with a coach approximately twice a month over the academic year, with additional communications as needed;
  • Connection with other members of the Social Media Boot Camp, to learn from each others experience and projects through an online community and webinar-based sharing;
  • Representatives of your organization are welcome to attend any and all Darim Online Learning Network webinars

About the Team Driven Model

This program seeks to support educators and their organizations in creating and implementing social media projects that achieve their mission, and serve to mature the organizations strategy and operations for success in the digital age. To achieve this goal, we believe that it is important for teams to participate in the program. Suggested team composition should include: an educator, senior staff, and lay leadership or other volunteer.

Teams will focus on a particular goal and project which may include innovations in: curricular design, professional development, parent-school engagement, or marketing and communications… just to suggest a few ideas. While the team will focus on one specific project, we expect that the experience of the Boot Camp will pay dividends in many areas of your work. We hope through this experience you will become active participants in shaping the future strategic direction of their organization.

Eligibility and Expectations

Eligibility

Applications are open to educators and their organizations, including but not limited to classroom teachers, education directors, rabbis, and cantors who work with North American Jews. We welcome applications from educators working within traditional institutions as well as those engaged in new models of Jewish education.

Our current cohort includes national Jewish educational organizations, congregational / complementary school programs, and a day school.

Expectations

We are dedicated to your success!

We therefore emphasize that regular participation in the Boot Camp is essential to gaining maximal value out of your experience and is important to the dynamic of the overall Boot Camp community.

Please be sure you and your team are willing to commit to this program. Below are our expectations for a successful experience. We recognize that we are working across multiple time zones and schedules and we are committed to being flexible and accessible within the programs parameters so that you can derive the most benefit from your participation possible.

  • Regular attendance at our series of skill-building webinars, which include education-focused sessions and general skill building sessions. Each member of your team is expected to attend at least 7 webinars over the course of the program, two of which can be downloaded and played instead of attending live;
  • Regular participation in team coaching sessions with a Darim coach (approximately twice a month);
  • Dedication of at least 3-8 hours per month to develop and launch your project;
  • Regular participation in the Boot Camps online community;
  • Presentation of your work in at least one Sharefest! Webinar;
  • Willingness to share and disseminate lessons learned;
  • Documentation of your experience in a format that can be shared with the community (e.g., a guest blog post on JewPoint0.org or a written case study).

Upon successful participation in this program per the terms above, each team will receive a budget of up to $250 to be used toward your project, subject to approval by Darim. Each team will be required to submit receipts for such purchases (e.g., securing a domain name, a private blog, a Flip video camera or other products or licenses).

Applications

Applications for the Social Media Boot Camp for Educators can be found here and are due Sunday, April 1, 11:59pm ET. Those chosen to participate in the cohort will be announced in late May.

Apply here!

A copy of the application form is available here to preview. We recommend that you prepare your responses in advance and cut and paste the text into the application form, since you will be required to complete the application in one sitting (but give us a shout if you run into trouble).

Important Dates

The Boot Camp runs during the 2012-2013 academic year (September 2011 -May 2012).

Please note: Although the program officially kicks off Fall 2012, we recognize that some participants may wish to begin their planning earlier; we are open to providing coaching on a limited basis to participants over the summer.

February 20, 2012 Application process open
April 1, 2011 Applications due by 11:59pm ET
Early May 2012 Announcement of Social Media Boot Camp for Educators cohort
June 2012 early coaching option for Boot Campers;
September 2012 Cohort Kick-Off, regular coaching schedule and webinars begin;
May 2013 Final Boot Camp for Educators Sharefest!: to present work to the community; cohort concludes.

Questions?

Please contact us at learningnetwork@darimonline.org

Pull Up a Hashtag and Chat Awhile!

#jedchat is coming – and you are it! The first #jedchat synchronous twitter chat for Jewish educators will be held Wednesday, October 26 at 9pmET. What is #jedchat? In short, it’s professional learning and networking at your fingertips, brought to you by the collaborative team of Akevy Greenblatt (@Akevy613), Dov Emerson (@dovemerson), and Rabbi Meir Wexler (@RabbiWex) via Twitter. #jedchat is modeled after the successful #edchat collaborative discussions that have taken place on Twitter since 2009. Edchat brings together educators and those interested in education from around the world every Tuesday at 12pmET and 7pmET. Many Jewish educators are active participants in Edchat and the network that has developed around the synchronous conversations. Inspired by Edchat, #jedchat was created to foster connections and support professional learning for Jewish educators by Jewish educators. Akevy Greenblatt explains:

"We wanted to give Judaic teachers from all backgrounds an open and safe forum to share ideas and learn from each other."

So put on your thinking kippot and join the inaugural conversation which will center on: What do you want to gain from jedchat? How can we develop a Judaic pln (professional learning network). Join in the Learning :

  • Get ready to participate – got a twitter account? Follow the conversation here. Better yet, add your voice to the conversation by tweeting your ideas. Remember to include #jedchat in your tweet. And don’t forget to save #jedchat under your "Searches" for easy reference. You can also use a filtering tool to better follow the stream of tweets like Tweetdeck (see the #Edchat tutorial here).
  • Don’t have a twitter account yet? Set one up – it’ll only take a few minutes. The hardest part will probably be figuring out your Twitter name! Here’s a how-to from Twitter.
  • Set your clock for the real time #jedchat on Wednesdays at 9pm ET (you can figure out your local time for the first chat by clicking on the link).
  • No need to set your clock. Participants are using the #jedchat tag to extend the conversation and share resources and ideas at any time, as applicable. Think of it as a perpetual global cocktail party.
  • Join the jedchat wiki and connect – add your name and twitter name to the participants section, share your ideas for upcoming topics!
  • Take a gander at PEJE’s tutorial for tips and techniques for becoming a Twitter power user: You Can Speak the Language of Twitter
  • Check out Shelly Terrell’s (@ShellTerrell) tips for participating in a twitter chat based on her experiences with #edchat
  • Want more Jewish education goodness? Follow#jed21 and join the conversations!

Most importantly, have fun learning and connecting! #jedchat is all about the people who make the conversation! Will we see you there? What topics would you like to engage with on #jedchat? Take the #jedchat hashtag out for a spin and tweet out your ideas! Special thanks to Akevy Greenblatt (@Akevy613), Dov Emerson (@dovemerson), and Rabbi Meir Wexler (@RabbiWex)! photo credit: misspixels on flickr [cross-posted from jlearn2.0]

Educators as Accidental Techies

Several years ago during a conversation with Harlene Appelman of The Covenant Foundation, I learned an important term: The Positive Deviant. Harlene uses this term (and now so do I) to describe those people who are doing things in new and different ways, perhaps disrupting systems and organizations from the inside out in good, productive, and important ways. They are the people who are worthy of cheerleading and supporting because they are making change on the ground, and their work will — in time — impact many people. In the field of nonprofit technology, we have another term for these sorts of folks: The Accidental Techie. As defined by Webster’s Online Dictionary:

In the field of nonprofit technology, an accidental techie is an individual who has gravitated toward responsibility for an organization’s information technology infrastructure, even though his or her professional training or job description did not include tasks of this kind.

In other words, someone’s filling the void, charting new territory, and becoming a resource for others in their organization. More often than not, we find the accidental techies in synagogues are the educators. Today in the last of our 6 part webinar series for NATE and JEA educators, we explored why this is often the case (they love learning curves, rather than being intimidated by them; they are willing to try new things and refresh their approach often; the "new rules of the game" walk in their door every year; and they know technology alone isn’t a silver bullet — the SMARTboard doesn’t educate the student, the teacher does), what their colleagues and organizations actually need, and how it feels to occupy this role. As social media and other technologies are influencing individuals, society, and business, organizations must evolve the way they conduct their work and communicate with their constituents. Enter technology. From data management to communications to customer service. While few will argue about the importance of these tools, most organizations have not actually made the structural changes to support their use. One important shift is staffing. Who has these responsibilities written into their job description? Who is in charge of listening and engaging community members? When do you need to move from the occasional IT consultant to someone who has expertise in-house? In today’s webinar, educators shared the roles they are playing — from IT support to providing in-house trainings, from being the communications "nag" to the "technology advocate". In some cases participants felt they are swimming upstream in a culture that does not yet recognize the importance or need of these tools and applications, nor recognizes the asset they have in a tech-savvy educator. In other cases, participants felt that their congregation is in fact very appreciative of the expertise they bring, and are so eager to take advantage of it that they don’t have enough time to do their "real" job. This is a moment of important evolution. If you are an accidental technie or positive deviant, please know you’re not alone. It’s so valuable to hear each others stories, to know what’s working well and where you could use some creative ideas and support from your peers. How are you problem solving, balancing your various responsibilities, gaining respect and appreciation for this additional role you are playing, and ultimately advancing and maturing your organization? I invite the NATE and JEA participants — and everyone else — to use the comments on this post as a space for sharing, listening, asking and supporting. Interested in learning more about accidental techies? Judi Sohn, from the Colorectal Cancer Coalition, writing on the NTEN blog Robert Weiner, nonprofit technology consultant, writing on the NTEN blog

And the Recipients Are… Announcing Our New Cohort of Educators!

We are thrilled to announce our first cohort for the Darim Social Media Boot Camp for Educators, chosen from among over 50 applicants. Included among them are national educational organizations, congregations, and a day school. We were excited to receive over 50 applications for this cohort, and it was very difficult to make these decisions! We weighed organizational readiness, innovation in institutional design and/or project design, team formation and creativity in thinking and culture, among other attributes. We appreciate all of the work put into the process, and we look forward to continuing conversations with all applicants in one way or another. And now, announcing the 2011-12 cohort! Drumroll please… Centropa Support the work of Centropa’s United States education department and its educators through the use of social media, including curricular resources and professional development. Team Leader: Lauren Granite, US Education Director Congregation B’nai Amoona, St. Louis Create a mission driven vision that takes advantage of social media and other 21st century technology tools to create strong and meaningful connections with a focus on integrating family education, adult education, and experiential education. Team Leader: Jennifer Newfeld, Director of Congregational Learning IKAR, Los Angeles Create family-based learning activities and interacting with Jewish ideas and values through home-based Judaism that complements students’ face to face learning. Team Leader: Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal, Director of Education Jewish Enrichment Center, Chicago Develop a strategic “networked nonprofit” model of leadership that includes school professionals, parents, and volunteers. Team Leader: Rebecca Milder, Director Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston Investigate new meanings of community and develop a Shabbat chavurah to support reconnection of the family and expand the ways members connect and communicate Shabbat experiences. Team Leader: Terri Ginsberg Bernsohn, Religious School Director Matan Develop online professional development events for Matan’s Jewish education institutes and support associated communities of learning for leaders and future leaders in Jewish special needs inclusion. Team Leader: Meredith Polsky, Special Education Coordinator Temple Beth Abraham, Tarrytown, NY Create multiple points of community building and engagement for current and potential congregational members with support from social media and personal learning networks. Team Leader: Pamela Barkley, Director of Education Temple Judea, Coral Gables, FL Strengthen communication and engagement with parents and families in a strategic way to build and augment the synagogue’s educational community. Team Leader: Beth Young, Director of Education The Weber School, Atlanta Use social media to provide students with opportunities to develop social and academic relationships with Israeli teenagers with whom they will be visiting during a 5 week Israel component in the middle of the school year. Team Leader: Rachel Schwartz, Teacher, History and Judaics Departments University of Washington, Stroum Jewish Studies Program, Seattle Develop a localized, interactive, and immersive digital ecosystem for Jewish studies students, beginning at the University of Washington and eventually expanding to other universities. Team Leader: Professor Noam Pianko These teams exhibited exceptional enthusiasm, readiness, and vision and we look forward to working with them this year! We’re thankful to the Covenant Foundation for supporting our work with this cohort. In addition, as part of this funding, Darim will be presenting a series of webinars over the coming year with a focus on innovation and social media in Jewish education, including guest experts such as David Bryfman. All Darim Online members are welcome to join these webinars. Not a member yet? Sign up here. Finally, Darim is running a six part webinar series for congregational educators this summer, starting July 5, in conjunction with NATE and JEA. Learn more and sign up here: NATE members click here and JEA members click here

DigitalJLearning Network: Online Learning and Jewish Day High Schools

Is your day school high school/ yeshiva integrating online learning in general studies as part of its formal course catalogue? Is your school gearing up to launch such a program during the 2011-2012 academic year? If so, check out the new DigitalJLearning Network, a partnership of The Jewish Education Project, JESNA, and the AVI CHAI Foundation. This new initiative provides the opportunity for up to 15 North American day school and yeshiva high schools to work collaboratively to document their work, share resources, and tap into expertise regarding the adoption and integration of online courses. Participating schools will be eligible to apply for a grant of up to $5000 from the AVI CHAI Foundation to advance their work in this area. Details, including Network structures, school eligibility and expectations, and a link to the application can be found here. The deadline for applications is June 17, 2011 and recipients will be announced on or around June 30. What are you waiting for? Apply now to be part of the national vanguard of Jewish day high schools integrating online curriculum into general studies! Not quite ready but want to learn more about online learning? Check out the DigitalJLearning website.

Last Call For Applications: Darim’s Boot Camp for Educators

Last call for applications – the deadline for the new Darim Online Social Media Boot Camp for Educators is Monday, May 2, 11:59pm: Learn more… and apply – now!! The short of it: The program will support innovative Jewish educators in using social media effectively in their work, and assist their organizations in evolving models for success in the digital age. A Little More About the Program Darim is seeking to mentor up to 10 Jewish educational organizations, represented by 3-5 person teams, that are engaged in innovation and risk taking and which serve North American Jews. These teams will participate in a year long professional development and coaching experience to advance their work. The program includes:

  • Participation in Darim’s series of monthly skill-building webinars which includes Darim’s overall Learning Network for Educators (teachers, directors of education, rabbis, lay leaders, and others interested in Jewish education);
  • Private coaching and consulting with Darim consultants to address strategic and tactical goals, and to help design, implement, and refine a technology-supported project. Teams from each organization will meet with a coach approximately twice a month over the academic year, with additional communications as needed;
  • Connection with other members of the Social Media Boot Camp, to learn from each others’ experience and projects through an online community and webinar-based sharing;
  • Membership to Darim Online and access to its other Learning Network events and resources.

The long of it, including eligibility, program structure, and a link to the application form, can be found here. The deadline for applications is Monday, May 2, 2011, 11:59pm. Got a great, innovative, social media-y Jewish education idea? What are you waiting for? The Social Media Boot Camp for Educators program is made possible through a generous grant by The Covenant Foundation.

AVI CHAI Social Media Academy

We are so excited about Darim’s partnership with the AVI CHAI Foundation on their Social Media Academy! The Academy was created to help Jewish day schools integrate social media into their strategies for home-school communications, student recruitment, alumni outreach, and fundraising.

Ten high schools are taking part in a series of 3 face to face full-day meetings, an offering of over 20 webinars, an ongoing Facebook Group discussion, and coaching sessions to help them develop and implement strategic social-media enhanced communications plans for their schools.

The Academy reflects the work that the Foundation has been doing with social media guru Allison Fine over the past year, and was created in response to a recent survey that the Foundation conducted of around 300 day schools regarding their use of social media.

The Academy met twice in March face to face. Participants learned about a number of foundational social media tools, started creating their plans based on a “POST” planning process (inspired by the book Groundswell — People, Objectives, Strategy and Technology), debriefed what they’ve experimented with and implemented between the two meetings, and shared emerging best practices with each other.

The good people from Big Duck guided the group through determining appropriate metrics for analyzing social media and creating social media policies. Big Duck will also provide individualized coaching sessions to each school team on a regular basis.

Kudos to AVI CHAI for taking such great strides in modeling the learning process that they have undertaken themselves as a learning organization, and extending their active support to other professionals in Jewish education. We can’t wait to share more of what we are learning as well!

Read more about the Allison Fine’s reflections on the Social Media Academy here:

Avi Chai Social Media Academy Begins
Social Media Academy Part II

Playing Like Lion Cubs

I’m recently back from 2 Jewish education conferences — #JEA59 (Conservative Jewish educators) and #NATEseattle (Reform Jewish educators). Both conferences shared a theme about technology, and I fully enjoyed the opportunity to both teach and learn. In Seattle, Charlie Schwartz and Russel Neiss of Media Midrash did a session on mobile technologies, which I loved. They demanded that we all bring our phones and ipads fully charged and ready to go. They reminded us of the educational power of the tools students bring with them into the classroom, and guided us to the productive and creative ways to use them. But it wasn’t PollEverywhere or SCVNGR that really got me excited. It was that we were all playing. That’s right. PLAYING.Lion Cubs at Play

 

Mid-text message, while the educator’s snarky responses to Charlie and Russel’s questions were popping up on the gigantic screens, and giggles were erupting throughout the ballroom, I had this vision in my mind:

We’re all lion cubs.

Children, of all species, play. They play not just because they’ve got nothing else better to do, but because they need to play to learn and practice the skills they will need to employ as adults. We play to learn balance, boundaries, social skills. As adults, we often forget how to play in this way. We’ve grown out of it. It’s natural. But in an environment where we continually need to be learning new boundaries, new skills, new tools, this kind of play is actually really important.

While we often focus on "professional development" and "training" (both of which are important and have their place), I was struck by these conferences’ ability to help us play. In my pre-conference Boot Camp at NATE, participants launched Twitter accounts, and tried their hand at blogging for the first time. Low risk, just play. At JEA, a "technology theater" gave participants permission to sample tools and dabble in a simple, exploratory way.

In our work at Darim, we often observe that the "accidental techies" are educators. "Accidental techies" are the people who are intrigued with a tool, play around, and start to accept responsibility for the organization’s social media activities. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Perhaps educators feel more permission to play. Perhaps people who like to play as adults become educators.

Regardless, I encourage you to embrace your furry playful lion-cub self. Go ahead, play a little! And thanks to Russel and Charlie for presenting your rich and educational session is such a fun and playful way. Kol HaKavod. You taught us more than perhaps you had planned to.

Hot Off the Press: Jewish Educational Leadership “j ed tech 2.0” issue

Check out the latest issue of Jewish Educational Leadership, "j ed tech 2.0" in print and online, published by the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education (some articles are available to members only). Topics include conceptual pieces that address big picture issues around Jewish learning and identity in the 21st century, as well as articles on specific projects and curricular resources. Zvi Grumet lays out the blueprint of the publication in his introductory remarks:

Our Research section opens with a mapping of the issues by Jonathan Woocher and colleagues*. Eli Kannai explores visions of the future of education; Judy Cahn and Rona Novick examine some of the social implications of new technologies; Devora Preiss shares highlights from her doctoral research on using technology to enhance spirituality in tefillah. Closing out this section is a short, insightful essay by Shifra Kaufman on how classical Jewish studies address some of the intelligences deemed necessary for the emerging new era. Our applications section is rich with ideas from the field. Sholom Eisenstat presents an overview of the integration of hardware and readily available, often free, software into educational settings; Lookstein’s Esther Feldman shares insights from five years of experience using distance learning for Jewish studies; veteran educational technologist Meir Fachler introduces the latest software from Gemara Berura to aid in the study of Mishnah. Efraim Feinstein introduces us to the Open Siddur project, Yechiel Hoffman describes how technology integrated into and enhanced a high school Jewish thought class, and Avital Drory shares some of the pioneering work being done in Israel in Jewish educational software development. Our Features section opens with Howard Blas’ description of the challenges, successes and lessons of creating an online Community of Practice. Selections from John Palfrey’s Born Digital provide significant food for thought, and Contributing Editor Levi Cooper continues to tantalize with a fascinating perspective on a previous technology revolution. Finally, our Perspectives column features Sam Lehman-Wilzig, a professor of communications, whose research at Bar-Ilan University focuses on the impact of future technologies on society.

*The article, Technology and Jewish Education: A Revolution in the Making by Monica Rozenfeld, Jonathan Woocher, Lisa Colton, and Caren Levine is based on our work on the JE3 project over at JESNA’s Lippman Kanfer Institute.

So, kick up your feet and peruse away. What captures your imagination? What are you integrating into your work? What are challenges that you are facing? What would it take to bring your work to the next level?

[cross-posted on jlearn2.0]

Shalom, Sez Me… Grover’s Big Adventures

[cross-posted on jlearn2.0] Shalom Sesame: NextGen. The good people at Shalom Sesame are rolling out the release of the first two of twelve dvds in their new series. It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since the first edition on video; I am pleased to report that Moshe Oofnik has not aged – nor mellowed – a bit.

The first two dvds, featuring the ever inquisitive Grover, include Welcome to Israel and Chanukah: The Missing Menorah. In true Shalom Sesame fashion, each episode contains groovy animations, Muppets and humans hanging together, joyous singing, and fun snippets of learning around Jewish values, Hebrew language, and Israeli life.

At a recent screening at Sesame Workshop, Shari Rosenfeld and Stephanie Wilchfort, the project leaders, described resources that will be of special interest to parents and educators. The accompanying Shalom Sesame website will feature over 100 free clips from the dvds and supporting materials for home and classroom use including games, interactive storybooks, art projects, Hebrew language reinforcement, and holiday e-cards. One of their goals is to make the material as flexible as possible and to provide multiple entry points into learning about Jewish culture. In the meantime, they are releasing clips on their Facebook page to whet your appetite and put a smile on your face (oh, kids will like it too – the little ones at the premiere were bopping along to the songs).

In celebration of Chanukah, many JCCS and synagogues will be sponsoring the debut of Shalom Sesame’s holiday episode, Chanukah: The Missing Menorah on Sunday, December 5th. Check with your local JCC / synagogue for details. Some local PBS stations will also be airing the Chanukah episode.

The videos are available online and in stores and can be ordered directly from the Sesame Street Store. Interested in learning more? Darim Online is hosting the creative team behind Shalom Sesame on a webinar to discuss the new series and how schools and parents can use it with their children. Register here – it’s free – and it’s fun!

Here’s a taste of Shalom Sesame – I love learning Hebrew with Grover! I know just how he feels: Grover Learns Hebrew: Boker Tov!