“Each lesson was a success experience”: Lessons Learned from an Information Technologies Course for Ultra- and Non-Ultra-Orthodox Teacher Trainees
Abstract: Israeli higher education institutes are challenged by the growing number of ultra-orthodox students. This requires coping with novel aspects unfamiliar to participants, as students and as teachers in the education system – utilizing information technologies as a lever for empowering teaching and learning. The study examines perceived digital competence among ultra-orthodox and non-ultra-orthodox education trainees that studied in the course “Information Technologies” in an Israeli college of education. Data included quantitative and qualitative data from an online questionnaire. Differences between the two groups were identified in perceived proficiency in using ICT before the course between groups; however, the gap was decreased between groups following the course. Regarding their perceived self-efficacy in using technologies, we identified an increase in both groups, as well as a decrease in the gap between them. Ultra-orthodox participants also perceived the importance of the course to their role as students and future teachers as higher than their peers in the non-ultra-orthodox group. The perceived contribution of the course was in the affective and practical aspects. Findings indicate an impact of the course among ultra-orthodox participants, which in turn may encourage them to integrate technology in schools in their educational sector. This also may further facilitate ultra-orthodox students’ integration in academic institutes in a strive for equal opportunities.
Presider: Alona Forkosh Baruch, Levinsky College of Education, Tel Aviv University