Israel’s current educational system is very similar to that of the United States. Israel’s education system is made up of three separate tiers: primary education, middle school, and then high school. Education is compulsory from kindergarten to the 12th grade. Students (except for some such as Orthodox, Pacifists, Arabs) then enter into the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) at the age of 18 and will not begin their college studies until they reach the age of 21 or 22. However, the education system is facing a paradigm shift, the same shift we are witnessing around the world, namely the influence of smartphone devices and social media on student’s lives, both in and out of the classroom. Of course, these new disruptive technologies are influencing every single facet of our lives, not just our education system. In fact, it is now almost impossible to find a young or middle-aged person who does not own a smartphone device of any kind.
However, there is a particular social media study that would surprise many people, in which it found that Israel is ahead of many developed countries such as America or Germany regarding the social media usage of its citizens. It is estimated that approximately 94% of all Israeli internet users can be found on at least one social network presently.
It is now a given fact that social media has completely influenced how we can communicate and build a dialogue with other people all over the world, and that is the same for students in the classroom. In today’s technological day and age, students can now access their course material, essential dates, marks, course schedules, among others, online and even outside of regular school hours. In some places, students can also take their tests online, and even engage with or ask their teacher questions. We are now beginning to see a new rising trend where students are taking learning courses entirely online where they will not be required to spend any time at all inside of a traditional classroom, except perhaps when they are taking tests or their final exam. There are also many online resources available to assist students today such as Kahn Academy, Evernote, and Wikipedia to learn and share information much quicker. Students today can now find information with just the snap of their fingers and no longer require stepping into a library.
There are numerous instances where social media and smartphone devices have been used by teaching staff to better the educational experience of their students. Facebook groups are now readily being used solely to host study sessions and for communication about course content among students and teaching staff. Instagram is also another platform that is being utilized more due to its popularity. It is very straightforward to buy Instagram votes to ensure your educational Instagram stories receive social interaction. The teaching staff is now beginning to utilize the live options of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to host their lectures for students who could not make their class or for students who want to review the lesson.
In conclusion, education is a significant investment being made in Israel, and it is great to see social media and smartphone devices being used productively in the classroom and in learning environments.