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Blended Learning, Web 2.0 Technology, and Jewish Education

July 27, 2010

By Paul A. Flexner and Richard D. Solomon

Blended instruction — a combination of face-to-face classroom teaching with an online component or a mix of both asynchronous and synchronous instruction taking place entirely online — will enhance the quality of the Jewish learning experience for both K-12 students and post-secondary learners whether as students, faculty members, or adult learners.

The Internet is omnipresent. It is in the homes in which we reside, the places where we dine, and even has infiltrated devices such as the watch, the phone, the calendar, and the address book that originally were designed for a singular purpose. In addition, the Internet, also termed Web 1.0, which was first created to serve as a powerful search engine, has morphed into Web 2.0, a collection of software tools for information sharing, data analysis, collaborative writing, knowledge construction, and dissemination. This transformation in technology from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 has significant implications for teaching and learning. These new Internet tools provide a new platform through which instructors and learners can explore their topics, ideas, and insights online without being in a physical classroom. What are we to make of these changes? How can we harness the power of Web 2.0 to enhance Jewish education?

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