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The Future is Here

Pioneering the Makerspace concept in Israeli education, Beit Berl is launching the first program to train teachers and principals throughout the country to introduce “makering” in their schools.

Today's children must learn 21st century skills in order to thrive and contribute in today's dynamic society. These skills include the "Four C's": critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. As a result, the teacher's role is shifting from the traditional focus of imparting knowledge to nurturing these important skills. Teaching through a Makerspace enables students to work together on creative group projects which involve building something tangible to solve problems. "In this way, kids learn to learn and develop a 'maker mindset,'" explains Roi Kafri, who is teaching the new Beit Berl program.

The course is designed to take place in a physical Makerspace fitted with equipment – ranging from scissors and glue to laser cutters and 3-D printers – for constructing different types of design solutions. "Technology is developing quickly and today these items are much cheaper and more accessible than they used to be," notes Kafri, adding that, "Makerspaces don't have to be expensive. The important thing is to learn to work as a team and to create solutions to real-world problems."

The new course is the brainchild of Dr. Ayal Shaul, director of the Keshet Center for Professional and Continuing Education at Beit Berl College. "This is a groundbreaking program. Makering represents the future of education and teachers want to learn the skills to be leaders in this field," he explains. "Rather than teaching about Noah's Ark, kids can actually build an ark and learn about the biblical story from different perspectives, such as through science, art, zoology, etc. The idea is to cut across the classic disciplines to change the way kids learn."

On February 10th, the first cohort of 24 educators began a 40-hour course. Because of Covid-19 regulations, the course will be taught primarily through Zoom, with participants receiving kits in advance, to enable active involvement despite the constraint of distance learning. Toward the end of the course, several in-person sessions are planned in Beit Berl's new Makerspace facility. 

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