FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TAMRITZ LAUNCHES NATIONAL DIGITAL BADGE LEARNING NETWORK
Four schools selected for 2013-2014 pilot develop badge-empowered learning programs
Portland, OR—June 5, 2013—TAMRITZ, a digital badge learning network for Jewish Day Schools, announced today the first four schools selected to pioneer its connected learning community. The following schools will form TAMRITZ’s 2013-2014 cohort:
- Kehillah Schechter Academy, Norwood, MA
- Krieger Schechter Day School, Baltimore, MD
- The Moriah School, Englewood, NJ
- Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle, WA
TAMRITZ will provide schools with in-person training, a networked community of practice and ongoing coaching to design and implement their own badge learning programs. Beginning with a summer professional development course, Digital Age Teaching, cohort teachers will be immersed in a badge-based experience, focused on learning in the digital age, relevant research and connected learning. In the fall, schools will partner with TAMRITZ to co-facilitate a badge-based digital media literacy course for their middle school students. Schools will begin to roll out their self-designed badge learning programs semester two, 2014.
Digital badge learning takes a traditional system of awarding badges for achievements to a new media level. Guided by their teachers, students explore their own interests and acquire knowledge and skills. Each digital badge they earn becomes an electronic credential that contains not only what the student understands and has accomplished, but also the methods used and data about the institution that sponsored the learning experience. These badges can then be shared through social media from a digital backpack, providing transparent transcripts for students’ skills and achievements.
Selected schools demonstrate an innovative spirit and readiness for transforming how learning happens, according to Sarah Blattner, TAMRITZ’s founder and executive director. “These schools are willing to experiment and explore how digital badge learning can engage students,” said Myrna Rubel, chief advisor for TAMRITZ’s Advisory Council and principal of the Epstein Middle School. Rubel is the pioneer of Epstein’s badging program, where she has discovered that “true learning takes place when students have choice, create meaning with their in-school and out-of-school lives and connect and develop relationships with teacher advisors.”
TAMRITZ, meaning “incentive” in Hebrew, seeks to ignite collaborative learning between Jewish Day School teachers and students through its digital badge learning network. Through the support of the Joshua Venture Group’s Dual Investment Program and the AVI CHAI Foundation, TAMRITZ will match the program fees with in-kind support for each participating school for the first year of engagement.
TAMRITZ scaffolds its learning network with exemplary instructional practices, including project-based learning and teacher-as-coach, to give students a chance to create their own meaning. “We believe that every child has a spark within them: A spark of passion, creativity and excellence. Badge learning will help us nurture each child’s spark, personalize their learning and gauge students’ understandings of Habits of Mind through our Beit Midrash program,” said Dr. Nitzan Resnick and Rabbi David Paskin, co-heads of the Kehillah Schechter Academy, Norwod, MA. “Our school will implement a badge learning program that offers new courses and differentiates the learning experience for our students, said Katie May, principal, Seattle Hebrew Academy. “Our teachers are excited to move in this bold new direction.”
Read more about badge-empowered learning and the TAMRITZ Badge Learning Network.
Sarah Blattner, Executive Director, TAMRITZ
Kehillah Schechter Academy, Norwood, MA
Rabbi David Paskin, co-head of school
Krieger Schechter Day School, Baltimore, MD
Shelley Hendler, Head of Middle School
The Moriah School, Englewood, NJ
Dr. Elliot Prager, Principal
Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle, WA
Katie May, Principal