I feel fortunate to have been able to contribute to the consolidation of the emerging field of statistics education and I plan to continue doing so. I am a co-founder and co-chair (with Prof. J. Garfield) of the International Collaboration for Research on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy (SRTL) – an international professional organization which, since 1999, has been running a series of biannual research forums and scientific activities and publications sponsored by prestigious academic institutions. These forums have significantly advanced the understanding of statistical reasoning, and had a significant impact on the statistics education community by signifying future research directions as well as nurturing the future leadership of scholars.
I served in several key international roles, including Vice-President of the International Association for Statistical Education and a member of several program committees of international conferences on learning and teaching statistics. I co-chaired the Sixth International Conference on Teaching Statistics (2002) and served as a member of the Joint International Commission on Mathematical Instruction and The International Association for Statistical Education Study on “Statistics Education in School Mathematics: Challenges for Teaching and Teacher Education” (2008–2011). I have been invited to present keynote addresses in international conferences, such as the International Congress on Mathematical Education (2008), United States Conference on Teaching Statistics (2009), and the Interamerican Conference on Math Education (2011).
I have taken a leading role in research and development programs in statistics education in Israeli K–12 schools. The purposes of these activities are to add a data and chance strand to the national curriculum in mathematics, develop professional standards in this area, design curricular materials and tools and evaluate them, and plan professional development program for school teachers. To achieve these goals, I shall continue developing and studying high-quality statistics text books that will expose learners to statistics in various technology-enhanced and inquiry-based learning environments.
In the field of educational technology, I have served on various national roles, such as a member of the national steering committee appointed by the Minister of Education. I have a leadership role in the two major conferences on educational technology in Israel: the Chais Conference on Instructional Technologies Research and the Meital Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning in the Academia. I take all these activities as an evidence of the recognition with which my work has been received by the Israeli community at large, and the Ministry of Education in particular.
In The University of Haifa
Educational Technology Graduate Program. I have led the founding of the Educational Technology Graduate Program, which is now in its seventh year with increasing numbers of faculty, students and graduates. The Program graduates have taken key roles in innovating teaching and learning in Israeli schools, universities, workplaces and informal learning settings. One of my achievements as the head of this Program is the recent recruitment of Prof. Y. Kali, an international expert in educational technology. I plan to strengthen and expand the Program by offering new research projects and degree programs, workshops and seminars. A proposal to establish an Israeli Center of Research Excellence (ICORE) on "co-creation of knowledge in technology-enhanced communities of learning", in which I am part of the academic board, is currently under review.
The University Center for the Advancement of Computer-Mediated Instruction. In my role as the head of this Center (since 2008), I have supported the University core mission to advance knowledge and educate students by working in partnership with the faculty, students, and staff to maximize the value of information and learning technologies to their work. Under my leadership, the Center successfully integrated e-learning into daily life at the University. Today, 6,000 course websites are opened each year and more than 15,000 students are enrolled in them. The Center operates paid and open source e-learning platforms, asynchronous and synchronous fully online courses, online testing service, online forms platform, and live course documentation.
Digital Cities: Technologies, Leadership and Education Graduate Program. In 2010, I have initiated and established the “Digital Cities” two year M.A. program in educational technology supported by the Cisco Systems, Inc. The program is designed to address the needs of educators in Upper Nazareth and Nazareth, and establish a joint Arab-Jewish leadership group, which will harness the latest technological advances in the service of the most advanced pedagogical practices, for the benefit of both communities. The 23 students in the program have achieved impressive results – both academically and in their practical educational work. One of the most notable impacts of this program is the quick translation and implementation of the academic studies in the students' daily practice: they are active as teachers and administrators in their communities, initiate collaborative Arab-Jewish projects, while some also work as ICT guides in their localities.
Teaching and graduate course design. Over the years I developed several new graduate courses in mathematics education and in educational technology, in which the content and the learning processes are combined to create technology-enhanced learning communities. For example, “Challenges and Approaches to Technology-Enhanced Learning and Teaching” (CATELT) is a semester-long graduate course focusing on “how people learn” and educational technology. It has a blended learning design that involves unique reflection sessions and collaborative activities in both face-to-face meetings and in a multi-generational course wiki-based website. The social activity in CATELT is emphasized and integrated throughout the course in reflection sessions, relationship-building activities, and wiki-based reflection diaries and discussion pages. Thus the course content is not only studied but also directly experienced and evaluated (e.g., Ben-Zvi 2007; Hod and Ben-Zvi 2012).
Students. I currently supervise four Ph.D. students and five M.A. students in mathematics education or educational technology. In addition, nine students have already graduated. The experience and skills they developed under my tutorship enabled them to take up leading roles in the national professional system: teaching at the University of Haifa and in schools, designing new learning environments and instructional activities, and contributing in local and international professional groups. As I look ahead, I see my educational mission to continue attracting excellent students and younger faculty members in the fields of statistics education and educational technology through the activities I am involved in.