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Lisa Nielsen | @InnovativeEdu

Lisa Nielsen | @InnovativeEdu

Lisa Nielsen is The Innovative Educator. She found school boring and irrelevant. That ticked her off so in 1997 she became a public school educator who works to help change that for others. She does this by finding and sharing innovative ways to prepare students for relevant and real-world success. Among other things, this means ensuring educators and students have a voice in conversations, issues, and policies that affect them.

Lisa writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about the future of education but she is best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Her writing and work are also featured in places such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, T.H.E. Journal, Tech & Learning, and Smartblogs. She is also the author of several books such as Teaching Generation Text and Fix the School, Not the Child.

Blog: InnovativeEducator.com
Twitter: @InnovativeEdu

Posted by on in What If?

vibe2

This is just one in a series of ongoing posts on the educational innovations in Israel. You can see additional coverage here.

When you think of disadvantaged youth, it's not uncommon for images of teenagers hanging on the streets, drugs, incarceration and a dead end future to come to mind. But what if there was a way to help these young people find a new direction where their lives had meaning and purpose?

On day one of my tour with Vibe Israel to learn about education in the country, I discovered this was a reality at a youth village in a place called Mevo'ot Yam. Here, a surfboard and a wet suit become a gateway to a future that is as wide open as the Mediterranean Sea that is the classroom to these students. Mevo'ot Yam Youth Village looks like a tropical resort, but instead it is home to disadvantaged youth who build crucial life skills such as goal setting, endurance, and inner confidence by learning to ride the waves of a surfboard and navigate the sea. Equally important is the realization for many of the youth that they can play a part in the shaping of the sea and the world.

One of the students (captured below) explained the plight of the clown fish made popular by the movie "Finding Nemo." After the movie, divers would risk damaging the sea ecosystem to capture these fish for sale. The solution to ending this problem was to breed clown fish so that the capture of those in the wild would no longer be necessary. This student learned an important lesson that is gaining popularity far and wide with the Maker Movement. It's better to breed (aka make) something, than to make something. At the school they learn to breed endangered species that can help the oceanic ecosystem.

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Posted by on in School Culture

lisaniel

This is just one in a series of ongoing posts on the educational innovations in Israel. You can see additional coverage here.

I learned a lot about learning after serving as one of five edubloggers participating in the #VibeEdu Innovation in Education Tour organized by Vibe Israel, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote Israel as a vibrant hub of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. After a week of crossing the country, visiting places, companies, and organizations, and meeting students and adults, I discovered innovative practices that are incorporated into their schools and culture.

Below are some of the lessons I learned that contribute to making Israel the #2 country in the world for students going to university and resulting in one of the lowest unemployment rates for those under 30. As you read each lesson think about which you may be able to use to support student success where you work.

1) Give and You Shall Receive
If you want community support, you must support the community. The First Robotics Y Team 3211 of Yeruham needs donations from the community to fund these young makers. The students don't just engage in innovative projects, but rather the projects they select often support the community. They have made several small cars which they call bimbas for children who are unable to walk. 

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