ORT Aviv Virtual School
From Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education
The ORT Aviv Virtual School, established together with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1997, is a pioneering attempt to harness new information technologies in an effort to enrich and improve the way in which children learn. This is done through the introduction of internet-based curricular modules (“virtual courses”) into the conventional classroom.
From computer labs in member schools or from home, students access specially designed courses on the web and carry out designated activities and assignments. Each course is supported by a site coordinator who manages the web components of the course, trains classroom teachers in the use of the materials, and provides assistance to teachers and students during the running of the course.
The use of the internet in the classroom expands learning possibilities by utilizing the almost unlimited sources of information available on the web and stimulating interaction with other learners from diverse geographical, religious and ethnic backgrounds.
Classroom teachers are encouraged to modify their traditional role as information providers and become facilitators of the learning process, aiding and guiding students as they carry out projects and assignments on the computer.
Teachers in Aviv also join their own learning community, in which they can assist and support each other. The ultimate goal of the Aviv Virtual School is to prepare students for the kind of independent learning and teamwork that will be expected of them as productive workers and citizens of the 21st century.
Through the use of modern telecommunications, this opportunity can be offered to schools across the country, irrespective of their proximity to the major economic and cultural centers.
Its web site is at http://aviv.org.il