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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

#FrischShiriyah takes over Facebook (and Twitter too)!!!

The following is cross-posted on The Frisch School Blog.

It is always so exciting to watch our students using all of their talents for Shiriyah. This year we have added additional aspects to the Shiriyah experience utilizing the world of social media with which our kids are so familiar. We do this with the philosophy that Shiriyah can be an opportunity to model for our students the great power of social media as a tool for constructive sharing, what noted technology thinker Clay Shirky calls Cognitive Surplus.

With that in mind, you might have noticed our ubiquitous presence on our Frisch School Twitter feed sending updates about the various events of this exciting week with the "hashtag" #FrischShiriyah. We have also launched for the first time our Frisch School Facebook Page so we can post even more rich and interactive content about Shiriyah including videos and photos. You can access this page by going to the following direct link: https://www.facebook.com/FrischSchool. While you're on our page, make sure to "Like Us" so you can see our updates during Shiriyah and throughout the school year on your Facebook News Feed (screenshot below).



However, this is only a part of our use of Facebook and Twitter for Shiriyah. We have provided our students the opportunity to use it as well. We have done this by creating Facebook Groups for each grade. These groups are closed to the world at large but open to our students and faculty. This was an experiment, we really did not know what to expect, while we closely monitored this undertaking. I am happy to report that so far our experiment has been a resounding success. The grades have really come together harnessing the power of this new medium to brainstorm, organize, and create.

Each grade has used their groups to post a laundry list of everything needed for the Hallways, Stomp, Project Runway, Cake Boss, and the list goes on and on. They have also found more creative ways to use this online medium. Here are a few specific examples.

  • The Freshmen posted YouTube videos of each of their songs for Shiriyah night for everyone to watch and practice at home. 
  • The Sophomores have posted photo albums of "The Midbar Experience". 
  • The Juniors have posted pictures of various odds and ends that they had around the house (including wood and old dressers) to use for the hallways. 
  • The Seniors have been posting to their "Chevra" constant words of encouragement about the stomp, choir/medley, banner, video, and mural.
I wish I could show you the tremendous work and creativity that I am seeing online till late at night, the virtual Shiriyah after the physical building has already been closed for the evening, but these groups are only open to our students (with close monitoring by the faculty) so they can feel comfortable interacting informally with their classmates to help make such a massive undertaking into a reality.

The grades have also utilized public twitter feeds to broadcast to the world their enthusiasm and excitement about Shiriyah. You can view them using the following links: twitter.com/shiriyah9, twitter.com/shiriyah10, twitter.com/shiriyah11, twitter.com/shiriyah12.

Finally, we are excited to announce that this year for the first time we will be live streaming Shiriyah night for friends relatives, and alumni who cannot make it to the Frisch gym but would like to share in the Shiriyah experience. All you will need to do is go to our homepage, http://frisch.org/ and the video should be streaming directly from the website starting at 7:30PM. We are looking forward to seeing all of you Shiriyah night either physically in our gym to cheer on our talented and hardworking students or virtually through Frisch.org.

Kol Tuv,

Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky
Director of Educational Technology
The Frisch School

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