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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Introduction to Zimmertwins, a web-based animation tool for both the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, and for the mentoring and staff development of teachers

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will begin our discussion on how  Zimmertwins, a web-based animation tool can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, and the mentoring and staff development of Judaic educators.
Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has a interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers as well.
NoteIt is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators.
Note: Zimmertwins can also be used in a face to face classroom without adding the online component.

What is Zimmertwins?
Zimmertwins is a free web-based animation  that allows one to create personalized speaking avatars or characters that can be used for Judaic instruction or teacher training.

Where is Zimmertwins located on the internet?
Click here and watch a tutorial on how to use Zimmertwins to make an animation movie .
 On the next post we will share how Zimmertwins can be used in the classroom to facilitate instruction and promote learning.

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