Located in Melbourne, Sholem Aleichem College is one of the pre-eminent Jewish schools in Australia. Catering to preschool and primary school-aged children, the college prides itself on its ability to cultivate in its students a pride in their Jewish identity, and a sense of belonging to the worldwide Jewish community.
Sholem Aleichem teaches its students a mix of standard curriculum subjects, in addition to a range of highly-focused courses around Yiddish language and culture, Hebrew, Jewish history, traditions & customs, and literature.
These highly tailored subjects often require bespoke content generated by teachers. The need to rapidly customize and share content with pupils to maximize learning outcomes presented a challenge for teachers.
The school also had ageing projector technology that teachers found difficult to operate. This added to the challenge of bespoke lesson content an understandable unwillingness to use outdated technology. All in all, the school found it difficult to achieve their goals when delivering classes that required significant content creation.
“The resources available to teach in Yiddish and Hebrew are minimal,” Michelle Nachsatz, E-Learning Coordinator at Sholem Aleichem, said. “We really needed a solution that would allow teachers to create and tailor content to their needs.”
Making Lesson Customization Feasible
Unified AV suggested to Sholem Aleichem that SMART Learning Suite would give their teachers a common software platform for creating lessons, making the content easier to customize and share. This also gave them the ability to use and customize free Hebrew lessons from the SMART Exchange. Tying this all together, Unified AV recommended the SMART Board 6065 to take the difficulty out of displaying and interacting with the lesson content.
“I’ve had a long history with Sholem Aleichem College, and over the years have developed a deep understanding of how the school works,” says Simon Gordon, Collaborative Solutions Specialist at Unified AV. “Their priority was making sure key learning outcomes for the kids are achieved. Yes, that sounds obvious, but there are a diverse range of technology options available to schools.”
Research has shown that technology is only effective when paired with good teaching practice and sufficient professional development. Unless teachers are provided proper training, the technology will be underutilized. To ensure Sholem Aleichem’s success with their new software and interactive displays, Simon and his team have regularly provided guidance to the teachers on how to implement the technology in their classrooms.
“It didn’t take long for teachers to adapt to this technology, and now the entire school is very much on board with the SMART Boards. The results have been so effective that we now believe that SMART Boards should be standard in all educational environments, and indeed, should not be seen as high-tech products.”
– Michelle Nachsatz, E-Learning Coordinator, Sholem Aleichem College
Discover more about how Sholem Aleichem College overcame their challenges with teaching and technology; read their case study here.