Welcome from the Co-chairs
Dear friends, members of the World ORT community,
We, co-chairs of the Academic Advisory Committee, turn to you regarding an initiative we are undertaking. We hope you will find benefit in it and are asking you to be part of what we are beginning.
WORLD ORT AND THE EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY
First, a few thoughts about our community, which is absolutely unique. It embodies the global unity of science, technology and education that have become necessities of the 21st century. Our schools are in contact with universities and technology companies. These connections open up great opportunities for us and help advance our mission.
In countries where our schools are found, they are often at the top of the educational rankings of their cities and countries. This is not a coincidence. It is the result of a combination of school cultures that encourage creative problem-solving, excellence, a seriousness of purpose and talented and dedicated teachers who inspire their students to better understand their world and themselves.
Unlike in the not-recent past, now the Jewish people cannot be divided by state borders. The barriers separating our schools around the globe are rapidly declining. Telecommunication provides us with the opportunity to attend classes and pedagogical conferences, professional development courses for each other. The vast amounts of memory in digital clouds allow us to collect samples of our work and make them available to others. The recording capability also lowers time zone barriers. Artificial intelligence significantly reduces language barriers.
All of this suggests that our schools can become conductors of promising educational ideas and digital technologies within and across countries. Students and teachers in our schools can learn from the entire World ORT community, including students from all other schools.
Given the above, the Academic Advisory Committee appeals to you to expand interactions between our ORT communities and with all world education.
Towards this purpose, we are creating a web page, which we are opening, during these difficult days of the pandemic, for World ORT and the entire world. It will serve as a platform for discussions about whatever your concerns are, including educational goals (that sometimes conflict), best teaching practices, ethical dilemmas, emerging technologies that could benefit education, the roles of technology in classroom teaching and for administrative use and much more.
We hope you will raise topics for discussion that are of concern to you. We will present some areas of discussion, as well, and hope you will find the topics and discussions to be of importance for your important work and that, despite your being very busy, you will consider being active participants in this initiative.
In the meantime, we are beginning the web page and look forward to your discussions and contributions.
Best wishes from,
Prof. Alexei Semenov
Prof. Sidney Strauss