Time Travel in the Jewish Quarter: An e-Learning Guide to Budapest’s Jewish Heritage

This project is developing an e-learning program about the Budapest Jewish Quarter, focusing on the history of the district from 1870 through the present day. The program will be accessible on the internet, in both Hungarian and in English. It will target two age groups: high school students, ages 14-18; and young adults ages 18-37. It will emphasize interactivity. The project is partnering with a local Jewish high school, which will help develop the curriculum; involve teachers, who will be trained; and involve its students in the program.

The e-learning program will be available to users after registration. Each user will receive a personal code with which to enter the system. The code will be valid for three months. For high school students, the program will include tests to assess mastery of the material. After a student has achieved a 75% average on a series of quizzes, he will be able to take the final comprehensive exam, which will be compulsory for the high school program.

The learning program will be comprised of 4 chapters: (1) Vibrant Jewish Life Once and Today (2) What is Jewish Identity? (3) Jewish Every-day Life, and Jewish Festivals (4) History and Architecture of the Jewish Quarter.
The units will cover Jewish History; the Holocaust; Jewish Life, Customs, and Traditions; Social Movements and Relevant General History; Architecture; Literature; Art; Film; and information about the sites today. The website will include written texts, audio-texts, photographs, documents, videos, and other sound recordings. The Jewish Museum and Archives will provide archival materials. While each chapter could be completed within 2 hours, ideally an e-learner will spend 20 hours with the program, which will include a great deal of optional information.

An educational team will collect information and materials, develop the units, and adapt them for use by high school students. Experts (including an architect who is an expert on the Jewish Quarter, a historian, an author of several plays about Hungarian Jewish heritage, and a Professor of Jewish Studies) will revise the units. Audio-texts will be narrated by actors and edited by sound engineers. Completed units will be translated into English/Hungarian. The e-learning program will be launched in December 2012.

The second year of the project includes two one-day 8-hour blended learning sessions for high school students. This will combine traditional face-to-face teaching methods with the e-learning, which students previously will have mastered; and with a guided tour of the Jewish Quarter. The project will conduct a seminar to train 15 trainers to facilitate these sessions, and a handbook will be prepared for the seminar. The trainers will be teachers in participating schools, and professionals and volunteers from the Jewish Museum, the Jewish Archives, and the Haver Foundation. The project also will conduct a seminar with these partner organizations to brainstorm ideas for developing the learning program, and another seminar will solicit feedback.

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