Notions from #NAJDSCONF 5772

This seems to be the weeks of sequels!  Last week, I revised my love of Wordle with a second-annual graphic summary of a year’s worth of blog posts (here).  I am still waiting for comments (hint, hint parents & teachers!) to see how comparing the first and second Wordles reveals anything about a shift in emphasis or direction.  I love hearing that someone is reading the blog…I really love when someone comments on the blog.

This week, I will try to creatively share and reflect on my experiences in Atlanta from which I just returned from the North American Jewish Day School Conference.  This year’s theme was “Current Landscapes, Changing Horizons” and you can read all about the conference and find links to presentations and materials from the conference, here.  You can check out all the official conference tweets, which includes links, photos and videos not on the website, here.

Coming on the heels of another reflective blog post about Jewish day school conference attendance (here), I don’t want to be repetitive.  I did a fair amount of tweeting from the conference, which you can check out, by either clicking above to follow me on Twitter, or by clicking, here.  And you will find pictures, videos and thoughts from the conference that I may not get to in this blog post.

I attended the conference with our school’s 21st Century Learning Coordinator Andrea Hernandez and we co-presented a session on the first day called “21st Century Learning in Jewish Day Schools – A Conversation”.  It was well attended and augured well for the rest of our conference experience.  If you would like to see the presentation, you can click here and scroll down to the entry entitled “NAJDS”.

On Day 2, I had the pleasure to be a part of a panel discussion hosted by DeLeT on the topic of “Teacher Leadership”.  The rest of that day was spent exclusively with the Schechter Day School Network.  Sitting next to Andrea, I was captivated by a new app she was using and I immediately purchased it and started playing with.  As she says on her blog post from the conference,

 I am trying to build fluency with my iPad, so I used the Corkulus app to take notes. Not only do I feel that the practice was good for my iPad fluency, I am happy with the notes that I am able to share, not only here on my blog, but I was able to email the notes to the person sitting next to me, as well as others who were not at the session.

I spent the rest of the conference playing with it and loving it!  So, for something different, here is my summary of Day 2 of the conference via Corkulous:

Depending on how you are viewing this, I realize it may be a little blurry (even after clicking on it).  If you cannot blow it up, and would like to see it (or if you have the app and want me to email it to you in format), please feel free and email me directly.  It includes thoughts from a text study, the new branding initiative for the Schechter Network and DeLeT.

On Day 3, I had the honor of playing a (very) small part in Michael Mino’s morning keynote.  I don’t have permission to share the presentation, but I can share my small part of it, which you can find here under the heading “Mobile Learning”.

I spent lots of time networking about edJEWcon!  I suspect we will be fully enrolled by the end of the month.  I look forward to announcing the schools and partners who will be joining us for this exciting opportunity.  Our thanks again to The AVI CHAI Foundation for their generous support.  Stay tuned!

I closed the conference by live blogging a fascinating session on Games-Based Learning facilitated by Barry Joseph.  Here is my Corkulous-produced live blog from the session:

We are in the process of exploring bringing gaming theory into our repertoire of 21st century skills and literacies.  We are engaged in serious conversation with a few thought-partners in this field and look to make some announcements of new initiatives soon.

After the conference ended, I stayed on for an extra night to participate in a board meeting for the Schechter Day School Network.  Despite all the negative press, the future for Schechter is quite optimistic.  We struggle, as all Jewish and private schools do, in a down economy and increased competition.  But we also offer a unique and valued product.  Good things are coming.

All in all, it was a wonderful opportunity to learn, share, reflect, connect, collaborate, present and feel the power of being with over 600 people who care deeply about securing the Jewish future.  I plan to bring the positive energy and innovative ideas I got from this year’s conference back to help secure our own school’s future.

But tonight I rest…



About Jon Mitzmacher

Dr. Jon Mitzmacher is the Head of Galinsky Academy [which includes the DuBow Preschool, the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School (a K-8 Schechter), the Bernard and Alice Selevan Religious School, and Makom Hebrew High] located in Jacksonville, FL, and part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center. He is the Executive Director Designate of the Schechter Day School Network. Jon has worked in all aspects of Jewish Education from camping to congregations and everything in between.
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2 Responses to Notions from #NAJDSCONF 5772

  1. avatar Rafi Cohen says:

    Got your d”ash from Eve Posen. Enjoyed this post and may also try the new app. Thanks Jon! Great, creative, and fun new way to post.

  2. Pingback: Jewish Education Got Game | A Floor, But No Ceiling

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