|Meet the new REED!
by Adele Raemer
We have the ETNI site, we have Anglitnet. Now: meet the new REED! It's something else!
Those of you who teach in a school that is affiliated with the Minhal L'Hinuch Hityashvuti (Rural Education Department) should know about the existence of the REED website. For those of you who are not in the Minhal, let me introduce us.
In general, the schools in Israel are divided into regions (north, center, south, etc.) with each region having its own English inspector and staff of counselors. (There are also the AMAL and ORT frameworks, but that's another story.) However, the schools that are in the periphery, not attached to a city or town, are organized nation-wide in the Minhal. This includes schools that serve the agricultural settlements (kibbutzim and moshavim) as well as many of the boarding schools around the country, mostly agriculturally-inclined (at least historically) as well as ulpanot and yeshivot. These schools are organized in a framework with their own inspector and counselors, as their needs tend to be different from those of schools based in or near population centers. The Minhal run their own in-service training sessions, which are sometimes national, sometimes regional. (This year, we will be running a 4-session national workshop for English coordinators, as well as regional sessions for all of our English teachers.)
Due to the dispersion and isolation of our teachers (many of the REED schools are small and have only one or two English teachers on their staff) it is especially important that there be an easy, accessible means of contact. In order to answer this need, Gail Mann and Ann Shlapobersky founded the original REED website 11 years ago. In addition to providing relevant teaching sources, the site's aims were to give the teachers a website that could bring them closer together, share important information and give them a platform to ask questions and get answers.
The "Ask Avi" section was a sort of a forerunner to Judy Steiner's FAQ's section on Anglitnet. Messages and announcements were posted, official forms could be downloaded, and a wealth of sources, gathered by Avi Tsur, the Minhal Inspector, Gail and others, could be found on the site.
A few months ago, the inspector asked me to take over the site. At the same time, all of the sites for the Minhal moved to a new server, which necessitated a major overhaul. Rather than just maintenance, the site has had to be built practically from scratch.
The new site will provide all of the sources that the old site had (in fact, for the time-being, the old REED site is still accessible) and we are working on building new corners, to answer present needs, as well. The layout of the new site looks different, and has expanded graphic capabilities, to include pictures and other graphics.
There are some drawbacks and there are a number of things we would LIKE to do, but are not able to, at least not yet. For example, the new site has the annoying trait of being oriented from right-to-left (despite the fact that the original program comes from Microsoft, USA... but don't get me started on THAT!) However,we hope to solve some of these glitches.
A tour of the new REED
(Another browser window will open up with the REED site when you click here.
Then follow along with the directions below.)
For now, the site includes the following "corners": the right-hand menu includes links to Files, Bagrut forms, Forums, Links , Janusz Korczak Corner, Messages, and REED site map.
- Files -move your cursor over "Files" in the right-hand menu and you will see the following choices; just click on any to explore:
- Teaching Tips
- Learning your learners
- Special needs
- For the coordinator
- Letters of Administration
- Bagrut forms
- The Literature Program
- The Oral Exam
- The Written Exam
- Working out your yearly grades
The forums are not yet running, but the goal is to have Avi Tsur and each of the counselors conduct a forum on their different specialties, for example: coordinator needs, official paperwork questions, dealing with PHD's, etc. The aim will be to provide teachers with a direct line to people who can answer your questions.
- Links (Useful links)
- Janusz Korczak Corner (with quotes posted weekly)
- Messages from Avi or me, and other messages and notices - which can be accessed from the ticker (the moving titles) that is on the left of the screen
- REED site map (which gives links to all of the files on the site according to title)
New: "Show off"
Finally, we have opened a new section, which, in essence, is a site in itself. It is called "Show Off", and is a place to showcase the different, unique things the REED English teachers are doing in their schools, showcasing English learning centers and websites. Schools that are planning to build a learning center will be able to take a virtual tour of the different centers exhibited, and contact people from that school to ask questions, or set up a visit, if they wish. A teacher or staff wishing to develop a virtual learning environment for their English teaching needs will be able to have a look at what their colleagues in REED are doing. We are sure that this corner will be a source of pride and inspiration for EFL development.
We will be happy to hear feedback, and get suggestions of other things the REED teachers would like to see on this site.
So, I hope you can now see how the REED site is NOT more of the same. All three sites (ETNI, Anglitnet and REED) fulfill different needs for EFL teachers in Israel.
Pop in and visit us! Our main site: http://www.mchp.gov.il/Site/Supervision/REED/
From there, you can access the "Show Off" section, as well.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank David Lloyd for this new online endeavor: See you in the next ETNI rag!