Jewish Interactive team members Anat Goodman and Carina Rock participated in New York in the recent conference of the Department of Education of the World Zionist Organization (WZO), the National Association of Hebrew Teachers (NAHeT), and the Council for Hebrew Language and Culture in North America.
One of the innovative sessions that Ji held was a 3 and a half hour long gamathon session, where teachers were tasked with creating Hebrew games on the Ji Tap platform.
As Anat explains, “The gamathon started with 18 teachers. We didn’t teach, we just told them according to which criteria they will be judged. And we answered questions and helped. It was 100% hands on. They learned by doing!”
Four educators made it to a complete game uploaded and pitched. The judges listened (Carina, Anat, Hebrew at the Center (HTC) – lead adviser Liat Kadosh and Shlomo Sade, who does the pedagogical content for Morim Shlichim at WZO). Feedback was given, then the educators left and judges decided together on one teacher. Her game was aimed at students to create and not just play.
Special thanks go to Arnee Winshall and the HTC team for helping with the pedagogical criteria.
The winner of the Ji Gamathon was Lydia Zafrir, from Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Florida. She based the game on the Ulpan Or curriculum. The prize of one year’s subscription to Ji Tap was sponsored by the World Zionist Organization (WZO).
The main purpose of the game was for children to see then create their own cool real life dialogues in Hebrew. Middle school and high school kids who otherwise don’t want to talk in Hebrew. This gives them a fun, motivating, and engaging way to learn.