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VIRTUAL CAMPUS - REACHING OUT FOR BRIGHT PUPILS L. Rivlin , O. Kovo The Dov Lautman Unit for Science Oriented Youth, Tel Aviv University (ISRAEL) adarlea@gmail.com. Abstract .

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VIRTUAL CAMPUS - REACHING OUT FOR BRIGHT PUPILS L. Rivlin, O. KovoThe DovLautman Unit for Science Oriented Youth, Tel Aviv University (ISRAEL)adarlea@gmail.com

abstract
Abstract
  • We present here our experience of several years with virtual bright youth at the DovLautman Unit for Science Oriented Youth at Tel Aviv University.
  • The campus staff specializes both in teaching structured courses in different fields, and in conducting hands-on competitive and multidisciplinary network events, in which thousands of young people participate each year.
  • The wide-range activities are multilingual and are based on simple technological means that are accessible to youngsters and provoke their curiosity such as the Internet, messaging software and cell phones.
methodology
Methodology
  • Learning takes place by means of unique modules providing an enriching, active, challenging and fascinating intellectual experience.
  • We offer exclusive programs, with added value resulting from the encounter between the students and lecturers and researchers from the academic faculty and the rich and diverse world of content that the University offers.
virtual model
Virtual Model
  • This is a virtual learning model that comprises a number of practical tasks for which the students receive instructions:
    • experimentation,
    • programming,
    • simulation,
    • role-playing or
    • riddle solving.
  • It requires making use of theoretical material appearing on the website or available on the Internet.
the instructor and administration
The Instructor (and administration)
  • Virtual teachers should be flexible, focus on processes rather than outcomes and curios with good communication skills and high availability .

The instructor role:

  • During the task:
    • advice
    • guide,
    • Encourage
  • After each task: a chat session.
the pupil
The Pupil

The main qualities required from a virtual pupil include:

  • high degree of independence
  • motivation
  • awareness of their own capabilities
  • self confidence
  • self-control
  • problem-solving skills.
indicators
Indicators
  • An ongoing course demands an additional dimension of commitment and seriousness on the part of the students.
  • The more active the students, the more benefit they reap from the e-learning program.
  • To succeed in the course:
    • students have to put in independent work and
    • "virtual attendance" at all the meetings.
    • Students have to be active in forums and
    • discussion groups,
    • to learn the theoretical content, and
    • to submit assignments.
  • At the end of the course, a grade and a certificate of participation is issued.
the digital gap
The Digital Gap
  • Several issues are related to the digital gap: socioeconomic status, peripheral residence areas, gender, immigration, cultural inheritance, native language, senior citizens, and populations with special needs.
  • The number of internet connections per household could serve as an indicative measure for the digital gap in each area. In general, this gap leads to a lag in education, networking, access to information and employment, thus, enhancing the socio-economic gap
results1
Results

Number of Virtual Pupils Per Year

at the DovLautman Unit for Science Oriented Youth

2008 2009 2010 2011

results2
Results

Distribution of Virtual Pupils Per Virtual Course 2010

at the DovLautman Unit for Science Oriented Youth

(BLUE-Periphery North; RED-Center;GREEN-Periphery South)

feedback
feedback
  • "The subject was very interesting- although it was very hard work…It is good fun to learn things I have never thought about!"
  • "I think it was a SUPERB course! I have enjoyed it very much and learned a lot. The virtual teacher was excellent. The sessions themselves were very interesting"
  • "I especially enjoyed the fact that I can study with children from other places, where I have never been"
conclusion
Conclusion
  • We offer an innovative study model
  • The culminating virtual events and competition days for groups of students from all around the world serve as a peak activity for youngsters who have been involved in enrichment activities throughout the school year.
  • The use of the Internet as a tool to reduce distances makes it possible to invite pupils from all around the world, of different cultures and social background, to have access to the leading universities and edge-cutting science.
  • As reported by the schools and graded by repeated enlisting in the program and constant elevation in number of virtual participants, both the pupils and faculty benefit from the

Virtual Campus program at the DovLautman Unit at TAU.