Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Off to Israel with #VibeEdu #VibeIsrael

Blogging is a lot of work, but it is worth it. Among the many reasons I love blogging is that it has enabled me to make both digital and face-to-face connections around the globe expanding my personal learning network. As a result of my blog, I have been invited to visit countries such as Prague, Spain, Canada, and Mexico to share the ideas I write about here.

Today, I will be heading to Israel to learn about and share what the country has to offer in the area of education. Here are some highlights of what I will have the opportunity to see:

  • Visit the Jerusalem Venture Partners VC in Jerusalem and learn about their educational programs with disadvantaged youth.
  • Visit 'NaLaga'at' Center at Jaffa port, and experience the center's activities connecting deaf, blind and deaf-blind-mute children and adults with the general public through art and cultural experiences, including lunch at the "Blackout" restaurant, where guests are served by blind waiters in total darkness;
  • Meet Eyal Shavit, founder and chairman of the EduAction Forum, the biggest annual education conference in Israel with a clear agenda to bring about social change by educational entrepreneurship;
  • Visit Tichonet high school, the first digitalized high school in the country;
  • Visit The Peres Center for Peace in the Old City of Jaffa and meet the Peace Education team,who run projects that bring together Jewish and Arab children and youth;
  • Meet the co-founders and educational team members of SpaceIL, a nonprofit organization working to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon as part of Google's LunarX Prize;
  • Meet the students and the staff members of the Bialik Rogozin Campus that educates children and youngsters from 48 different countries, all dealing with a complex reality of language and cultural barriers;
  • VIP visit at "Lunada" Children's Museum of Beer Sheva, a state-of-the-art interactive, experiential museum for the entire family which showcases more than 50 different exhibits in 8 indoor galleries and 2 exterior courtyards
The experience is made possible by the Vibe Israel program. They want the world to know there’s more to Israel than news related to the conflict in the Middle East.

Their strategy is to use social media to share what Israel has to offer. They do this by inviting five influencers in specified areas (such as art, wellness, fashion, social entrepreneurship, sustainability) to visit the country and share what they learn with their followers. This enables citizens, with no political or corporate agenda, who have various areas of expertise, to tell stories to their followers. Vibe Israel believes that by inviting influencers to visit Israel and see it for themselves - their perceptions change and as a result Israel’s image improves.

Below is an outline of the other educators with whom I will be traveling and learning.

Terry Heick
General Information
TeachThought is a fluid concept that challenges education to constantly reinvent itself for modern contexts.

To support teachers as they grow into innovative educators.
Terry Heick is an author, social entrepreneur, and education dreamer. He is the Director at TeachThought, and is considered an education thought leader sought out for his thinking, experience, and vision. He is specifically curious about inquiry, thought, the critical shifts of future learning, student-centered learning, emerging technology, innovative teaching and learning models, and the modern knowledge demands in a connected world.

As an adviser, he helps schools, districts, start-ups, and tech developers navigate the dynamic and often misunderstood ecology of progressive teaching and learning. By helping these "pieces" understand how one another functions (in the classroom and beyond), he is able to provide a comprehensive view of existing context, and future possibility.

Among his most recent work was a digital citizenship project with the White House, as well as various projects with Pearson, Institute for Habits of Mind, ASCD, edutopia, learnist, Adobe, Pixowl, and consulting for various conferences, curriculum developers, digital platforms, schools, and districts.
Lisa Nielsen (Me!)
Lisa found school boring + irrelevant. That ticked her off so she started The Innovative Educator blog to share ideas to help change that for others.

Seems others are interested in reading what I have to say as it receives hundreds of thousands of views each month.
I've been a public school educator and administrator since the 90s and am passionate about supporting students to learn in real and innovative ways that prepare them for success. My education philosophy is keep it real. If it's not clear how what we're teaching is relevant to a student's life, don't waste their time! I'm fortunate to be able to do just that in my current role where I support school staff and parents in ensuring students know how to use social media for success with college, career, and citizenship.

My writing is featured on The Innovative Educator blog as well as other places such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, T.H.E. Journal, Tech & Learning, Huffington Post, ASCD, MindShift, and SmartBrief. I've also written a few books like "Teaching Generation Text," "The Teens Guide to Opting Out of School for Success," "The Working Home Educator's Guide" and more. Check em out here.

I am frequently covered by local and national media for views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” BYOD, "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, using mobile devices for learning, using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students and more. You can check me out in the news here

If you'd like to connect with me directly, I invite you to engage in thought-provoking conversations on Twitter at @InnovativeEdu or by contacting me as outlined here.
Utkarsh Lokesh
EdTechReview (ETR) is a community of and for everyone involved in education technology to connect and collaborate both online and offline to discover, learn, utilize and share about the best ways technology can improve learning, teaching, and leading in the 21st century.

EdTechReview aims to create an ongoing dialogue around how 21st century knowledge and skills can be embedded in education, how can technology be effectively integrated in education ; and guide the development of resources and services through meaningful partnerships to support the community.

EdTechReview spreads awareness on education technology and its role in 21st century education through best research and practices of using technology in education, and by facilitating events, training, professional development, and consultation for its adoption and implementation.
Utkarsh Lokesh has pushed EdTechReview to evolve from a blog to a global community and media platform for thousands of educators from over 200 countries and territories. He has directed day-to-day news coverage and built the editorial staff for the niche educational technology community. He leads EdTechReview’s strategy and his evolved sense of education community, are core to the company’s operations and future growth.

He has also been involved in producing niche edtech conferences, training and consulting educators and educational leaders on purposeful edtech integration in their institutions.

Ronnie Burt
The Edublogger, Edublogs
The Edublogger is a blog that helps educational bloggers with emerging technologies in education.

The Edublogger has been set up by Edublogs — “the largest education community on the Internet” where you can sign up for a free WordPress-powered blog — and is dedicated to helping educational bloggers with emerging technologies in education, share their own experiences and promote the blogging medium.

It’s purpose is to share tips, tricks, ideas and provide help to the educational blogging community.
Ronnie Burt, is a married ‘dada’ to a happy toddler.

He works to improve the educational experience on Edublogs and CampusPress.

Prior to joining the Edublogs team, he used Edublogs in the classroom as a teacher where he has taught at the secondary and undergraduate levels.

Ronnie travels as much as he can. He has lived in Mexico and Spain, and is a longhorn football obsessed native of Texas.

You’ll also find him writing on the Edublogs News Blog.
David Wilson
TeachHUB provides K-12 teachers with free lesson plans, education articles, teaching tips, recommendations & professional development resources.
David Wilson is a talented e-marketing expert with more than 15 years of authoring energizing email blasts, engaging social media postings and strategy, and spot-on web content writing, with one foot firmly planted in html and the other in SEO. Seven years spent with a major US newspaper, utilizing the full gamut of Web-building technologies.

Expertise includes writing and producing items for a major US insurance company, for a financial-based Web site, producing daily and weekly e-newsletter and measuring web analytics and e-mail campaigns. Excellent at using social media marketing for corporate purposes

I look forward to our adventures. Keep your eye out on my blog and on Twitter. I will be using the hashtags #VibeEdu and #VibeIsrael.  

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