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Kamrat : The Story of a Virtual Multicultural Learning Community in Israel - part 3

Starting the project: the first meeting in the two participating schools

In order to make sure that the core principles and methods of the Kamrat project would be fully understood and adhered to, by all the participants, Ithamar and Salah, went to each of the participating schools, and met in each of the schools with the computer coordinator and the participating students, prior to the actual beginning of the project.
The following is the summary of the meetings as recorded by Ithamar and Salah.

A meeting in Mushreife (A) ( Salah)

The meeting was composed of several parts:
a. getting to know the 25 participants from grades 7-9
b.presenting the project idea to the students: objectives and implementation
c.dividing the group into 5 subgroups according to interest :
1.the story of an object passed in the family from parents to children
2.feasts and customs
3.folktales and legends
4.symbols and costumes
5.sayings and idioms
d. explanation of on- going assignment-material to be written in Hebrew or in Arabic in Hebrew letters, so as to bring the Jewish Israeli population closer to the Arab-Israeli one.

All material gathered must be related to the Arabic tradition and customs.

e. dividing work among group members.
Learners divided the work among themselves so that each of them would be responsible for another part of the assignment. One should note that each group is made up of 5: The folktale group divided their work in the following manner:
2 learners collect the folktales in Arabic, 2 other learners would translate them into Hebrew, and one student was responsible for finding pictures to match tales.

f. Planning the next meeting

g. preparing the "who am I'' feature on the closed Hebrew intranet, for the first virtual meeting

h. in light of communication problems in the school, briefing about how to use the intranet was postponed to the next meeting

i.Ithamar and the teacher coordinating the program, stayed for 2 hours after the meeting was over, and Ithamar fixed the computers.

My impressions of the first meeting the first meeting went very well and was very successful the learners understood the project objectives and were quite enthusiastic about it the teacher coordinating the project in Mushreife is most cooperative and willing to invest much time and energy, and he should be commended for that

First meeting, Ort Gutman, (J)Natanya ( Ithamar TelHi Networks)

Today, Monday 6/3/2000 the first meeting at Ort Gutman took place.
Meeting objective was to present the participating students with the projects mode of operation.
All students with the exception of one who was taken ill, took part in the meeting.
I briefed the participants how use the closed intranet.
Participants divided into groups and each group divide the work amongst its members.

On-going work Jan-May 2000
The students in each of the participating schools, met once a week for a few hours with the coordinating teacher.
They conducted research, read books, interviewed their family members, and uploaded the material gathered as well as their reflections, to the closed intranet.
Every other week, either Ithamar or Salah met with the learners and their teachers.
In addition, frequent meetings were conducted on-line.
Immediately after the first meeting in each of the schools the youngsters opened a forum where they told the other participating party about themselves, their village or city and their schools.

Sabri from Mushreife(A) wrote about the Mushreife village:
The village Mushreife is located in the triangle, near Um El Pahem. The village draws its name from the fact that its located between three mountains and observes over the Jezrael valley.The name Mushreife means in Arabic - observing, looking from above, looking over.
The village population is Muslim, and it numbers 3000 people.
The village is part of the local municipality of Maale Iron.
There are 4 mosques in the village, a sports club, an elementary school, a football team, two health cliniques.
Most of the village inhabitants work as building contractors.

Meeting in person, Natanya 3rd May, 2000

Students both in Ort Gutman and at the school in Mushreife were working very hard. They were collecting sayings, translating folktales, writing quizzes and teaching each other virtually about objects dear to their families, customs and costumes.They kept meeting on line, synchronously and asynchronously, but they have never met in person.
Now that the project was nearing its end, a meeting, a "real one" was scheduled in
Ulpan Akiva.

The students, both the Arab-israelis and the Jewish-Israeli, were very excited.

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