Teaching Jewish Studies in school can be very rewarding. After all, by instilling an honest and thorough interest in Judaism into students, you become an integral part of their development as productive members of the community. But it doesn’t come without its challenges, some of these obstacles you’ll face teaching Jewish studies range from having to work with inadequate course materials to not being able to use educational technology. That is why Jewish Interactive developed Ji Tap, an educational app that focusses on all aspects of Judaism. Broughton Jewish Primary School has adopted Ji Tap. This is what they have to say about it.
Broughton Jewish Primary school is an Orthodox school based in Manchester that focusses on promoting traditional Jewish values through Kodesh and Chol studies. They provide education for children of various levels of orthodoxy. The school has recently been reworking their curriculum to optimise content, as well as rethinking how acquired knowledge is assessed. We spoke to Jonathon Simons who works at the school to understand more about the decision behind implementing Ji Tap.
Meet Jonathan here:
Why introduce Ji Tap?
Jonathon Simons is a member of staff at Broughton. “I am currently the Kodesh Teacher in years 3,4, and 6. Over my time in the school I have taught every year group in Key Stage 2. I have been given the responsibility to integrate educational technology into the Kodesh curriculum and now run a project that trains other teachers to do the same,” he tells us.
Simons started using Ji Tap in class to help create a flipped classroom environment. His aim is for students to assimilate the knowledge outside of the classroom. Once in class, Mr Simons can then focus on working towards enriching the students’ understanding of Jewish Studies through interaction and guidance. He was familiar with the staff at Jewish Interactive, a known entity in the Jewish Community, and had used Ji Studio in the past which encouraged him to look further into Ji Tap as an option to implement flipped learning in the classroom.
Using Ji Tap in the classroom
Ji Tap is a community-driven educational platform that can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. This online and mobile functionality lends itself well to Simons’s ideas of how to use educational technology in class. “We are also working on seeing if we can move some of the school assessments over to Ji Tap,” he says. “I will also be working with year 6 girls, training them to create their own general knowledge games to teach other children.” Ji Tap offers templates you can use to build apps focussing on any topic relating to Jewish Studies. Once created, these apps can be shared with the Ji community.
Students and Ji Tap
In Jonathon Simons’ experience, “The children have enjoyed using it. I want to see how they will cope with the assessment and the flipped learning.” He thinks it is good that students can learn at their own pace, which is one of the advantages offered by educational technology and Ji Tap. The Broughton Jewish teacher understands that there might be resistance from parents who are reluctant to encourage even more screen time for their children. But Ji Tap is intuitive and easy to manage and use. The app’s primary purpose is to distribute adequate content that will help students learn. That type of screen time has the potential to benefit any student’s development and understanding of Jewish culture.
Try it out
Broughton Jewish Primary school has introduced Ji Tap into their curriculum because it fits the mould of what they are trying to accomplish. Furthermore, educational technology helps make Jewish studies relevant to 21st century students, an age where digital is king.
If you’d like to try Ji Tap in your school, just sign up. You’ll have access to all existing educational games, creation tools, and will be able to use the community knowledge and resource base.
To download Ji Tap, click here: