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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > June 2020 Newsletter > Capturing the Spirit of Invention Post-Crisis

Capturing the Spirit of Invention Post-Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic was tragic in many ways, but it also provided a rare opportunity to re-evaluate and recalibrate.
To that end, in early March Beit Berl’s President, Prof. Tamar Ariav, and CEO, Nir Hacohen, launched a project called “The Day After.” They invited the College’s faculty, administrators and students to submit their ideas for strengthening and enriching the institution once the current pandemic is over. Over 70 proposals were received in a range of fields – from pedagogical innovation to community involvement. “Some of the suggestions were preliminary thoughts, but others are clear action plans that can be implemented rather easily,” says Dr. Ayal Shaul, the new director of the Keshet Center for Professional and Continuing Education at Beit Berl College, who heads the project. 

Dr. Shaul convened a team of eight faculty members and administrators, including the head of the student association, and the group began holding weekly Zoom meetings to consider the ideas submitted. The suggestions were divided into four categories: 1) enhancing pedagogy through technology, especially by boosting the role of online platforms; 2) improving administrative efficiency, such as performing tasks via Zoom or working from home at least one day a week; 3) strengthening the connection between Beit Berl and the surrounding community, including working more closely with local schools, offering courses for senior citizens and youth, etc.; and 4) ideas outside the field of education but nevertheless worth exploring.

Once the team finishes mapping all the suggestions, they will select two or three of the best ideas – or clusters of similar ideas – in each category. The people who submitted these ideas will then be invited to develop a plan for their implementation. They will receive assistance and training in social entrepreneurship from the Keshet Center. 

“The coronavirus was a catalyst; it spurred us to recalculate our route and to confront questions that were always there,” says Dr. Shaul. “For example, it is always important to expand our community involvement or find solutions for including more technology in our teaching; but the daily routine often dominates.” Dr. Shaul was impressed that although  Beit Berl offered few online courses before Covid-19, the College  was able to switch all teaching to online platforms within a week – proving the agility of the institution in meeting crises. Now, “The Day After” initiative aims to capture that spirit of invention as we return to calmer days. 

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