Engagement Through Technology

Posted: October 8th, 2013

By Dr. Gloria Becker, Director, Educational Technology

How does technology relate to Family Engagement? Watch below to find out:


Since 1985, we have worked very hard to integrate technology into every facet of our lives. We even have appliances that order groceries! It is all too easy to let our people skills get rusty. Jewish life is built around people and families. We bring 10 Jews together to pray. We invite three people to our table to say Birkat Hamazon, to say the blessings following a meal. We may not feel connected to an organization or institution, but we still yearn to connect with other people. It grounds us.

As the Director of Learning Technologies at Jewish Learning Venture, I am working to bring people and technology together to strengthen the Jewish community. I have two computers on my desk, a PC and a Mac. I carry an iPad and an Android phone. I have wireless headphones to use when I hold webinars and videoconferences. There is very little I can’t do from my desk chair – including interact with other people. And yet, I was entrusted to organize a Yom Limmud, a day of learning, about family engagement. Family engagement is primarily about creating and supporting relationships, real people-to-people interactions.

So far there are 259 teachers, educators, clergy, and lay leaders registered to attend on October 27th at Beth Am Israel (and registration is still open!). They are coming to meet face-to-face with others who still believe that creating and nurturing personal relationships is vital. The health of our community depends on these relationships. And though I will still be carrying a device or two with me, I will be stepping out from behind my computers to meet with colleagues and learn about the importance of personal relationships and the role they play in the Jewish community. It will be nice to have a face to put with that email or Facebook post.

The above is an abridged transcript of the video. Click to download the Engagement Through Technology transcript in full.

To think about: How do you use technology to support the important relationships in your life, professionally and personally? Share in the comments below!

One Response

  1. Jon Broder says:

    Gloria: I am always concerned about losing humanity and connectiveness because of technology. We are constantly disrupted, lured and stimulated by the ever-connected world in which we exist. One of the hardest things to do – and yet one of the most important – is to learn to unplug. The expression, stop to smell the roses, has never been more true. Technology has always had great potential to make life deeper, fuller and more stimulating; but it can also desensitize and routenize things to the point of loss – see Modern Times and Charlie Chaplin for this phenomenon even in the 1920’s. It’s truly a challenge and you have your work cut out for you.