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Sharing Knowledge and Bridging Gaps: Children Teaching Children Computer Skills - 2
Prof. Edna Aphek, Jerusalem, Israel

Project background
Since 1998 I have been serving as an academic adviser to the Alon school 1-8 in the mate Yehuda region, near Jerusalem. The Alon school is a non-religious school and its population comes mainly from the neighboring Kibbutzim and Moshavim. (two forms of communal settlements, in Israel.)
In 1999 I was asked to work with one elementary school in Mevaseret, the Moreshet school, 1-6. The Moreshet school is a religious school.
In both schools I have been implementing my educational philosophy that of the Dialogue Approach (Aphek 1996).
The Dialogue approach, which is an eclectic approach, maintains that a good educational system is one in which all of the following components are of equal importance and in an ever on-going dialogue: subject matter and information flow, skills, including computer and internet skills, self expression, emotional and social skills, and the values of the specific community in which school is operating.
Much emphasis is given in this approach to computer literacy as a means to achieving much of the above.
The Alon school has been devoting much of its energies to integrating ICT into its daily routine, and has been blessed with a very dynamic, computer oriented, veteran school headmistress, Ada Mandel. The school has about 32 computer, in the classrooms, 1-2 in the science lab, 9 in the library and 13 in the computer room. All the computers are connected to the internet.
Between 1998-2000 all teachers and learners at the Alon school were connected, from school, and many also from the homes, to an intranet in Hebrew: the Telhi network.
Many of the teachers at the Alon school (about 60%) are computer users on various levels.
The computer coordinator at the school, Marylin Metzger, isn't a computer teacher.
She is an English teacher, and maybe therefore, is more open to the idea of fully integrating the computer skills with subject matter, across the curriculum.
Learners at the Alon school use word, powerpoint and to a lesser degree excel, as part of their daily school work. Use of the internet is widespread throughout the school.
Computer skills are being integrated into all subject matter at the Alon school from grade 1 on.
It's customary for the Alon school learners to tutor peers, younger learners, new immigrants (29 Ethiopian children), and senior citizens, at computer and internet skills.

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