Innovating Education – from the Start-up Nation
By Shlomo “Momo” Lifshitz
Living in a country with few natural resources and more than its share of challenges, Israelis have been raised for nearly seven decades with the idea that overcoming adversity requires creative thinking. So it’s hardly a surprise that Israelis have excelled in all fields where innovation and problem solving are required. Tiny Israel is now the start-up capital of the world with more start-ups per capita than anywhere else. It’s also the world’s leader in R&D in areas as varied as software development, agriculture and animal sciences, and medicine.
Pioneering Education Solutions
In recent years, Israel has also earned a reputation for innovation in another field: education. The Technion Institute of Technology’s international Start-uP MBA program has been one of the first ventures successfully merging Israeli innovation into education for overseas students. The very idea of teaching start-up business requires a new model of business school, one which adapts to the changing nature of the market. The Technion took the plunge, creating an Ivy-League quality degree program that brings that quintessentially Israeli sense of innovation and business to education. Along with conventional classroom learning, students also make regular field trips relevant start-ups and tech companies to see theory put to practice. They participate in lively roundtable discussions with CEOs of leading firms to discuss the latest challenges in the real world of business and to learn how to think through the toughest obstacles.
In addition to the launch of the Technion’s Start-uP MBA for international students, more Israeli programs aimed at overseas students have opened up, each offering unique innovations to education. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for instance, created a new degree program utilizing “blended learning” to enable teachers and school administrators to earn their MA without interrupting their normal work schedules. Specializing in Jewish Education, the program combines two semesters of distance learning online and a 6-week summer semester on The Campus in Jerusalem, where participants bring what they’ve learned online into the classroom. This “blended learning” offers the best of both worlds, mixing the strengths of distance study and traditional brick-and-mortar education, letting educators continue with their pupils until the end of the school year even as they work on their degree.
Not only are Israeli schools utilizing education innovations, some are even teaching American educators how to revolutionize their classrooms back home. The Levinsky College of Education’s International School, for instance, has created a unique 10 week study program focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship in education. One of the goals of the program is to send back to the US educators retrained as “edu-preneurs” – teachers and administrators capable of creating new tools for teaching. As part of the program, participants learn how to integrate new approaches like personalized learning and Flipped PD into their schools. Participants visit Israeli schools to see firsthand how new ideas are implemented. At Tichonet High School teachers get a glimpse of the adaptive learning model in a paperless future-ready campus; in the Hadash Darca and The Democratic School they’re offered two different forms of personalized learning to examine.
In order to make these English-speaking programs accessible to international students, Lirom Global Education offers potential applicants personalized enrollment services and student support. To find out more, contact us.