About the TEC4Schools Program
TEC4Schools, a program for meaningful, multicultural, online teaching and learning, has been operating since 2013 with the aim of establishing trust between different population sectors on the way to a better society. Students from all population sectors and cultures work together online throughout the year in accordance with a model developed at the TEC Center, which operates programs on all levels of the education system: from elementary school to intercollegiate courses at colleges of education. The Center also organizes international conferences, seminar days, advanced study courses for teachers, and research.
Participants: Approximately 120 classes and 3,200 students from schools all over Israel, most of them in the fifth grade. Junior high schools: One Environment, and projects with schools abroad in which the learning is in English.
The Learning Model: The students are divided into clusters of three mixed classes from state schools, state religious schools, and schools in the Arab and Bedouin sectors. They work in groups of six (two from each culture) and come together to perform collaborative online assignments. Communication develops gradually: (1) text; (2) voice; (3) visual; (4) face-to-face encounter. In accordance with the TEC model, connection and mutual trust are gradually established between students from the different cultures in preparation for an exciting, experiential face-to-face encounter at the conclusion of the program’s yearlong learning process.
The program commences with a three-day group building exercise at the Center. Groups of three teachers, one from each culture, are teamed up with the work clusters and prepare the unique program and assignments for their students. The TEC4Schools instructors, under the supervision of the management staff, accompany the groups throughout the year, visit the schools, and hold synchronous instructional sessions.
NEAR Network: The activity takes place in the program’s unique social network, and includes use of information and communication technologies: collaboration on the network, synchronous and asynchronous communication, encounters in virtual worlds, and more, to produce collaborative outcomes and perform online learning activities requiring high order thinking and cooperation.
TEC Island: The TEC Center has developed a unique, multicultural virtual island, a dedicated, safe, virtual educational space that enables participation by means of avatars in collaborative activities to learn about other cultures. Students meet on the island, learn together, and design and build a house for each group.
Research and Collaborations: The program collaborates with similar overseas programs and experts, supervises research and development teams, and holds an international online multicultural conference. Partners in the project include the Pedagogical Secretariat at the Ministry of Education; Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts; MOFET Institute; and key figures from academe and the Ministry of Education.