Israel X, the national consortium of higher ed institutions in Israel, will release a new edX open course about “Environmental Protection and Sustainability” this August 6. It will be an introductory 30-hour, self-paced course taught by six scientists from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
This course is the result of an Israeli Government partnership between the Ministry of Social Equality and the Council of Higher Education, as an effort to promote academic and professional education in the country as a way to reduce social gaps and accelerate economic growth. This initiative is conducted through Campus.gov.il, the Israeli National Project for Digital Learning.
Campus.gov.il (or Campus-IL) is, at the same time, the flagship project of Digital Israel in the field of digital education. This platform, based on the Open edX software, is led by Shai-Lee Spigelman, CEO of Digital Israel Bureau, Ministry of Social Equality.
Unlike the eleven Israel X courses on edX, intended for an English speaking international audience, those at Campus-IL are offered in Hebrew and Arabic and are geared to a local audience of college students and professors, high-schoolers, government workers, adults, job seekers and underprivileged communities.
During the 2018 Open edX Conference, last May in Montreal, Eran Raviv, Director of Campus-IL, explained that this platform will allow the State of Israel to save around $60 million per year in teacher training costs. Mr. Raviv showcased an innovative pilot of 31 teacher training MOOCs.
Campus-IL currently has over 100 courses in development, 40,000 learners in more than 30 courses, 75,000 unique registered users, and 22 academic institutions as participants.
The graphic above shows the six covered areas:
• 21st Century Skills
• Vocational Training
• Government Professional Development
• High School Matriculation Prep
• Academic Courses
The learning opportunities that this project is trying to cover are:
• Accessible High School Education and Higher Education
• Job Training Opportunities
• Professional Development for Public Servants
• Developing Life Skills
In terms of innovation, Campus-IL is developing now the following projects, IBL News reports:
• An online computer science BA degree
• Micro-credentials as part of a teachers’ training innovative model
• A year-long MOOC to replace traditional tests
• A free SAT Course
• Computer Science courses, offering half of the credits needed for a degree