Jewish Academy starts new coding program thanks to generous donation


Jewish Academy students work on the latest iPad Pros, donated by Marc and Henrietta Katzen

The Jewish Academy of Orlando has always prided itself for its award winning application and use of technology. Now, due to a very generous donation from one of its major benefactors, Marc and Henrietta Katzen, the school can continue to be a leader in this field. To coincide with Computer Science Education Week, the Jewish Academy will be rolling out the newest and latest iPad Pros as part of its one-to-one iPad program for the fourth and fifth grade students. The iPad Pros have a higher capacity and will help facilitate content creation, making videos, creating presentations, researching and writing reports, and utilizing digital textbooks. Each of the new iPad Pros will be equipped with the new Apple Pencil, the next generation digital stylus. Students will use the pencil for note taking, annotation, and digital arts.

The students in kindergarten through third grade will also be receiving new iPad Air 2s for their classroom iPad sets (10 per classroom). The new iPads throughout the school will also help facilitate a new program at the Jewish Academy. Students will be introduced to coding through the "Hour of Code" program, a worldwide educational initiative to teach students coding. (Coding is what makes it possible to create computer software, apps and websites.)

"This is a great addition to our curriculum," says Principal Shari Wladis. "It is a part of our continued commitment to educational trends and making sure we evolve with the times. This is a great addition to our existing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) focused curriculum."

The students will not be the only ones benefiting from the Katzen's generosity. All of the teachers at the Jewish Academy will also be receiving new iPad Pros and Apple Pencils. As a result of the new iPads, the teachers will gain new educational management tools to facilitate focused instruction. Additionally, all of the classrooms will be receiving new Apple TVs, which will allow students to present wirelessly. The new Apple TVs also have new and exciting educational app capabilities that will enhance the classroom learning.

The Jewish Academy of Orlando has been recognized as an "Apple Distinguished School" for its use and integration of technology in the classroom. "This gift will allow our school to continue the high technology standards we tout," said Rusonik, Head of School. "We are grateful to the Katzens for helping the Jewish Academy grow and thrive through its use of technology."

To further support Jewish education and your local Jewish day school, to get involved or for any questions, please contact Alan Rusonik, Head of School, at 407-647-0713.


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