If you have read the news in recent times, you may have heard that Israel has received international praise for its education system. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that Israel is the third highest country globally for the education of adults. Israel even scored higher than the US by around 4%. This news has come at a time where the education industry is facing many new disruptive technologies and new practices, namely the rapid rise of smartphone technology, and social media. Of course, these disruptive technologies are influencing every facet of our lives, not just education. If you were to survey the people you know or meet if they owned a smartphone, you would find it very difficult to meet even a single person who didn’t. Social media on the other hand, is now used by people of all different age groups to share information and stories with their friend and family and their larger online network. Social media has forever changed how we communicate and interact with other people.
Today, students are able to log onto various online platforms to access their course material, course schedules, important dates, marks, online tests, and even ask their teacher questions outside of school hours. Due to this rise in technology, we have also seen a rising trend of students being offered and taking fully online courses where they do not spend any time at all in a traditional classroom, except perhaps for tests or their exam.
There are also many instances where social media and smartphones are being used by teaching staff to improve the educational experience. For example, educators are starting to use the live options of both Facebook and Twitter to host their lectures for students who could not attend class or who want to review the lesson, offer extra lessons to help their students or to provide them with course updates. Facebook groups are now being used for the purpose of hosting study groups so that students can connect with one another and store their notes and correspondences all in one place. Facebook groups are also convenient for students to use whenever they have a group project or group assignment. Today, it is very easy to buy Telegram members, so that one message can be sent simultaneously to a large group of people. Even people who are added later to the group can still view messages that were already posted inside of the group. All of this online technology has greatly reduced the roles of libraries in education. Students no longer require visiting a library to read many books to learn something new as they did years ago. Today, almost any information they require is readily available online which a simple search and a few clicks of a button. In fact, in most cases, students today only cite a book in their essays or assignments because their teaching instructor explicitly required at least one book to be cited for their assignment.
All in all, education is very important in Israel, and it is great to see Israel receive international recognition for its adult education system. Israel’s education has been so effective partly because it has been adopting new technology effectively in the classroom.