Knowledge and Bridging Gaps: Children Teaching Children Computer
Skills - 3
Prof. Edna Aphek, Jerusalem, Israel
The Moreshet school is a religious-orthodox school, in which
boys and girls learn in separate classes.
The school is situated in Mevaseret, a local municipality,
The Moreshet school has about 10 computers in one lab with
only two computers connected to the internet.
Most of the teachers at the Moreshet school aren't computer
users, and very few use the internet.
The headmaster of the Moreshet school in 1999, was Gilaad
Marleen, a very open, eager to learn young man, a computer
and internet user, who was also a first year headmaster.
The distance between Moreshet and the Alon school is about
7 minutes ride.
As an academic adviser I mainly work with the headmasters
In Moreshet I was asked to work with the teachers of 5-6 grade
on implementing the Dialogue Approach in these classes.
My work had several components: Getting the teachers to work
as a team, acquainting the teachers with the multi-facets
of the Dialogue Approach and specifically train them in innovative
teaching and learning methods, such as cooperative learning
and interdisciplinary instruction and in integrating computer
skills with learning skills across the curriculum and not
as a separate subject.
My work had some more pedagogic aspects, but since the focus
of this paper is how the children in the Alon school taught
computer skills to their peers, the children in Moreshet,
I'll skip those.
I met with the teachers at Moreshet once every two weeks,
which wasn't enough.
Due to the many other commitments the teachers there had,
it was rather difficult to find more time for meetings.
I connected the 5-6 Moreshet teachers and learners to the
closed TelHi Network in Hebrew, and both teachers and learners
in Moreshet could start dialoguing (chat) with their counterparts
Only a few took the opportunity, due to their lack of knowledge
and experience in computer skills.
The teachers and learners in Moreshet were quite dependent
on the school computer teacher, who wasn't always available
and had little knowledge of computer communication skills
and some knowledge of making PowerPoint presentations, which
were an integral part of the program: the work in Moreshet
was based on cooperative work on projects, the outcome of
which was a PowerPoint presentation.
For this we needed some good, skilled help.
Realizing that some drastic intervention was needed as a booster
for the children and teachers in Moreshet, I came up with
the idea of asking the Alon children in 5-6 grade to serve
as computer teachers for the children in Moreshet.
I spoke with the headmaster and teachers in Moreshet and the
headmistress and teachers of the respective classes in Alon.
Both parties felt the experience would be worthwhile and enlightening
and that it could have far reaching effects.
It would be important to note here that the Israeli society
though very heterogeneous in nature, is very sectarian and
we have two parallel education systems: a non-religious and
a religious one. The chances of children from a religious-orthodox
school (Moreshet) meeting with children their age from a non-
religious school (Alon), are very slim, unless an organized
attempt to bring them together, was made.
Therefore, the meeting between the Alon school children and
the Moreshet children had greater importance than just a meeting
of knowledge sharing: it was a twofold gap bridging: bridging
the gap of knowledge and bridging the gap between the religious
and non-religious groups in society.
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