: The Story of a Virtual Multicultural Learning Community
- part 2
preparatory meeting of headmasters, teachers, supervisors
and project directors
the Kamrat project is essentially about on-line co-learning,
there were several meetings in person as well; a preparatory
meeting in order for coordinators and headmasters to get deeply
involved in the program and to get acquainted with its principles,
bi-monthly meetings in the schools, each week in another school,
run by Ithamar and Salah, and a final meeting for all the
participating members in Ulpan Akiva.
preparatory meeting was the first in this list of meetings
in person. It was held in Ulpan Akiva in Nov.1999.
following invitation was sent by TelHi Networks and Ulpan
Akiva to the schools' supervisors, headmasters and teachers.
Participating in the Kamrat on line learning community
Kamrat project, a multicultural, bi-lingual on-line learning
community is a joint venture of the TelHi Networks and Ulpan
The project aims at creating a model for an- on going learning
dialog between Jewish and Arab schools via a closed network
in Hebrew and face to face meetings.
The first stage of the program will include only two participating
schools: one Jewish school and one Arab school about 25 students
from each school will participate in the first stage of the
project in each school a teacher will be assigned to serve
as program coordinator.
The first meeting will take place in Ulpan Akiva on 5/10/99
Prof. Edna Aphek,Telhi Networks
Ephraim Lapid Ulpan Akiva
A word about the closed network
decided to use two different communication tools, both computer
The first for rudimentary gathering of information and for
on- going dialog between the participants, and the second,
once all the material has been collected - the internet.
The first tool, was a closed network in Hebrew, run by TelHi
Networks, using the FirstClass software outdated 2.6 version.
Unfortunately there are no good intranets in Hebrew and though
the SoftArc Firstclass software in Hebrew doesn't contain
many much-desired features it still is, quite a good "intranet"
All participants were connected to the aforementioned "intranet"
from school and those who had an internet connection at home
could also access the Hebrew network from home.
All the work done by the participants, including on going
interactions, was recorded on the TelHi closed intranet.
Deciding upon forums
I have already mentioned, my vision was that of getting people
to know other people as human beings, having much in common.
We shunned away from any political issues, and resorted to
what one could term as "community informatics" .
We, myself and Ithamar, who later on together with Salah from
Ulpan Akiva, ran the project, decided on five forums on which
the entire Kamrat program was to focus: symbols and costumes,
objects passed from parents to children, folktales, sayings
and proverbs, and feasts and quizzes about famous people in
the history of the participating groups.
both participating schools a teacher was assigned to head
the project and to work with the multiage, ungraded group
on finding and uploading information regarding the aforementioned
five areas to the intranet. It was this intranet, where the
two very much apart segments of Israeli society met almost
on a daily basis.
In addition to the above forums a designated forum for the
coordinators and the group leaders in each school was opened.
In this forum the entire process of the creation and formation
of Kamrat, was recorded, by Ithamar from the TelHi Networks,
and Salah from Ulpan Akiva.
inside the schools
mentioned above in each of the participating schools a group
of 25 students from 7-9 was chosen to take part in the project.
Participating learners were divided into groups of 5. Each
group was responsible for one forum.
Members of the group worked using the tools of cooperative
The students met with their teacher once a week for two hours.
Every other week they also met with Ithamar and Salah.
The meeting between the two groups, the Arab Israeli group
and the Jewish Israeli group, was until May, only a virtual
one, via the closed network.
page 3 of 6
to the articles index