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October 10, 2015 | 27th Tishrei 5776

Education-Focused - Day School

1Congregation Beth Israel
Houston, TX

1 Shutterfly Page
3 Videos

The exponential growth in technology routinely changes the way 21st century education takes shape at The Shlenker School. The urgency to work with people throughout the world is necessary for our students as this will be their future. The rapid rise in use of social media tools transforms the way communication and collaboration takes place in our world today. Social networking is changing relationships and human interactions into a more global voice. We incorporate technology daily to build tomorrow’s leaders utilizing core values created by stakeholders that extend to technology and further exemplify the road to Jewish learning.  

  • Shlenker students learn early on that respectful online activity is a responsibility they must own. The month of October was dedicated to Internet Safety Month at Shlenker concluding with a video at Shlenker’s YouTube Channel on Cyberbullying.  The 4th Grade Silent Internet Safety Video can be viewed here.   

  • At Shlenker, teachers and parents partner to be lead-learners with technology in classrooms and at home. Teachers use electronic white-boards. document cameras, flip videos, digital cameras, mimeos, projectors, PC/Mac laptops, MP3 players, and communicate with parents through email, newsletters, website, blogs, and ParentsWeb portal. 

  • Shlenker's ability to “channel, shape, and adapt” the technology paradigm shift allows our school to move forward and harness what can engage and connect students, teachers, parents, and our entire community of stakeholders through real-world experiences and opportunities. Skype and Epals projects bring students a new appreciation for their global neighbors.  More on this can be viewed on our Shutterfly page.  

  • Teacher feedback becomes instantaneous for our student contributors as they incorporate video and audio into tutorials by way of movies and podcasts. Constructing their own tools for learning and sharing with one another. 

  • 5th Graders Skyped to Argentina.  The video for this can be viewed here.  

  • The Shlenker School website at offers links to the school's marketing video on its home pages as well as links to our social networking sites.

What are your goals in using technology?

Beth Israel’s Religious School Goals:

  • Deliver religious education in the same formats education is being utilized in secular and day schools across the country.

  • Broaden the Jewish community in the eyes of our students; moving from the family to the school, synagogue to the Houston Jewish community, the US Jewish community, and the global Jewish community.

  • Increase each student’s commitment to Jewish learning and contribution to the social and civic fabric of their Jewish communities

Shlenker School Elementary School Goals:

At The Shlenker School, our goal for technology is to build and strengthen the leadership skills within in each graduate to harness technology as a basic tool that moves them into future global adventures and experiences. 

Early Childhood Goals: 

To provide families with meaningful, timely information about their child’s experiences at school so they have a better understanding of their child’s day.  Children of this age have limited communication skills preventing families from having any depth of knowledge about what takes place at school. Our use of video with Flip and digital cameras, and Animoto videos provides our parents with confirmation of a day filled with enrichment and value. The school’s ParentWeb portal found within the Shlenker’s RenWeb database serves as a single source for parents to keep track of all links to such Web 2.0 tools we use.   Establish and communicate with other early childhood classrooms and families, both in and out of the United States using Skype. Baby steps in global collaboration at the early childhood level sets the stage for building a solid bridge as our students move into elementary school.   

What kind of successes have you achieved in using technology so far?

Beth Israel’s Religious School:

Our program encourages teachers to whet their skills with the latest trends in technology for use in the classrooms. According to the Milken Exchange on Educational Technology, “Positive attitude toward technology by both teachers and students and teacher training in technology leads to the greatest student achievement gains.” The successes we have experienced have brought improvement in Hebrew reading, families being more informed, and indications that our students and families are more positive, happy and receptive to our religious school program. 

The Shlenker School - Early Childhood and Elementary:

Student success with technology is seen in the self-confidence students show daily as they demonstrate creativity and innovation, communicate and collaborate, conduct research and use information to become effective and productive young leaders.  

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