Sunday, September 02, 2007
5767 catches up to 2007
I attended services at a local synagogue last night. The reality of the gap in my visits to temple became obvious when I took note of all the advances WE have made in delivering the word of the Torah. (I was going to say "THEY" but I was afraid my mother would read this and then know that I've only attended services maybe twice a year. Yes, at 44, I'm still trying to please her!)
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see much of the same technologies being used as in our classrooms. For starters, they used an Audio Enhancement system. How nice for all of the congregation to hear the words of the Rabbi and the songs of the Cantors, even the people in the back and even the elderly. Another observation was the use of an LCD projector and PowerPoint. The words to the songs were projected high above the bimah. It was really lovely to hear everyone sing along. The words were also in English transliteration, so even a Sorry-Excuse-For-A-Jew like me could pretend to know the words. Perhaps the most surprising technology, was the use of the document camera. When the Torah was opened they positioned the document camera right over the text. Although it would have sufficed to rewrite the text on a PowerPoint slide again, it was extra special to see the actual Torah and watch as the words were tracked and read, in real time.
What an engaging way to reach all of the sanctuary and draw the congregates in. I certainly learned more last night than all times I've ever attended services. Much like our students, I would normally be bored because not only couldn't I hear or see, but I didn't understand. Using the new technologies in real and relevant ways is a great way to reach our audience.
Is it true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Well I guess 5767 years is not all that old.
What are the innovative ways you've seen "classroom" technologies being used in the "real" world?