If you’ve been following Torah Live for a while, you know the story of how Rabbi Dan Roth started out teaching, but quickly discovered that Jewish kids today are much more focused when they are learning with technology. He tried reaching his students with thoroughly researched information, but felt like he was talking to the wall, until he put the same information into a multimedia presentation. Suddenly, the classroom was lively and the students were attentive. Thus Torah Live was born.
Although Rabbi Roth figured out intuitively how effective video is in education, there is actual evidence to support that claim. According to a 2021 study published in Review of Educational Research, when students learned from video, the average grade increased from a B to a B+. When they learned from a combination of video and live class, their grades rose from a B to an A. (That’s why it’s important that educators integrate Torah Live videos into their lessons, instead of making the video the entire lesson. Nothing can replace the warm personal teacher-child relationship. “עשה לך רב - Make for yourself a teacher,” say the Sages.)
One reason that videos are effective in teaching Torah (or any other topic) is that humans are hardwired to focus better when they have a visual and an auditory experience at the same time.
Videos also allow taking students to visit interesting places that are not possible in the classroom. Consider, for example, Torah Live’s Kosher series where Rabbi Dr. Ari Greenspan guides them round the Jerusalem Zoo to see split hooves and other kosher signs up close.
Another reason is that videos allow for self-paced learning and give students the option to pause, skip and rewind. Educators can assign Torah Live courses as homework, so that kids can watch in the way that works best for them. The kids will internalize the messages of the videos through the additional elements in each course, bringing the videos into their reality with real life examples and interactive missions.
Torah Live is dedicated to leading the march toward a future where online Torah learning is an integral part of the Jewish day school classroom. Our new website is the first step toward bringing Jewish kids the highest quality in educational technology. Jewish educators aren’t just imparting facts; they are teaching values and middos. They need lessons that touch the hearts and minds of their students and bring them closer to Hashem. Torah Live courses have been designed to do just that. The videos are clear and easy to follow, as well as engaging and entertaining. The comics, quizzes and challenges reinforce the content and give students ownership of their learning. And the real world impact feature, where kids actually perform mitzvos through their online learning, provides kids with the ability to affect change in the world.
We have a lot of dreams at Torah Live. They include creation of more courses, obviously, but also enriching our platform so that it becomes a hub of online Torah learning that equips educators and parents with the tools to raise Jewish kids who are true bnei and bnos Torah.
Stay tuned for our updates on new features and new content.
Torah Live is dedicated to showing the richness of Torah to the new generation. Please consider donating here before Rosh Hashanah so we can continue spreading Torah far and wide.