Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bible stories in Prime Time


I once thought about developing half hour television programs that would focus on a bored student in Humash class who would daydream about the stories that were being taught. My idea was to offer a variety of different perspectives – all based on traditional commentaries – that would play out while in the background the teacher droned on and on.

Well, I never took my idea further than the drawing board, and it appears that someone else has done it first – although a bit differently than I envisioned it.

See this short Haaretz TV spot, which describes a new initiative that will be used in Israeli schools this month.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Jewish History Timeline and More

How do you present the historical narrative to the variety of students in your class? There are plenty of tools, games, and multimedia modules for general history teachers, but teachers of Jewish history have slim pickings.

Jeffrey Spitzer announced a valuable new resource today on Lookjed, based on the Simile project from MIT. It is a database of events, people, groups and periods and can be organized by any of those categories, in addition to importance (beginner versus advanced students). The information can be then viewed in several formats, including a timeline. I don't see a printer-friendly option yet, but the materials can be exported in different ways that allow further manipulation. See the tool here.