This article appeared in the Hebrew Watchman August 22, 2019.
Bornblum Jewish Community School, which has long used the TaL AM Hebrew language program to teach students Hebrew language and Jewish heritage, has begun integration of the new iTaLam digital platform.
While Bornblum has offered 1:1 technology for several years, meaning every student in kindergarten through fifth grade has an iPad to use at school, integrating the new iTaLAM digital platform required an upgrade of the school’s iPads. This year, Bornblum purchased new iPads for first and second grade where the integration of iTaLAM is beginning.
Judaic Studies teacher, Maya Sharabi attended the iTaLAM conference in Jerusalem for four days in July to learn how to implement iTaLAM. “The benefit of iTaLAM is that it allows students to work independently in and out of school to enrich and practice Hebrew skills.”
The iTaLAM program, which supplements the traditional TaL AM curriculum, integrates songs, books, educational videos, games and creative tools to supplement the printed workbooks. “These digital activities allow students the opportunity to practice the skills they are learning in class in a fun and motivating way,” according to Sharabi.
The conference in Jerusalem was led by the teachers and software developers who created iTaLAM. Participants learned how to use the digital platform to support the lessons in Hebrew, holidays and Torah.
According to Sharabi, “iTaLAM is so effective because it increases student curiosity, engages them at their level and feels relevant to their lives. Kids love electronics and integrating that with learning is a very powerful tool for teachers.”
Bornblum, which prides itself on its commitment to individualized learning for all students, “is a perfect place for the iTaLAM platform because it provides us new opportunities to teach every child at his or her level of understanding and reinforce the skills that they may need to master,” says Bornblum’s Head of School, Daniel R. Weiss.
The school plans to continue to integrate iTaLAM by bringing it to students in third through fifth grades in the coming years.