Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology

I'm also a scientist, musician, inventor and lecturer. During the daytime I am co-founder of Ourboox. In the evening I Read More
Member Since
Oct 2013
Published Books
1472

I came to HIT (Holon Institute of Technology) to have a coffee with Prof. Victor Frostig in the fall of 2011. It was my first visit to HIT. The place looked more like a sanatorium than a vibrant college. Numbers on the buildings. Well groomed landscapes. People walking around with absent faces. 

 

Victor introduced me to the President of the College, Prof. Gady Golan. Gady was excited. “I want you here” he said to me after a five minute conversation. He had all kinds of hopes to transform campus. Was I to be part of it? I did a one month survey of what I perceived the needs were. I interviewed students and campus big shots. I made a proposal to help them transform the college.

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On January 8th, 2012, I presented what I called “Making HIT a HIT”.

I told them that education is not (only) about going to class, learning what is taught, forgetting, cramming for an exam (or heaven forbid, cheating), passing the exam, forgetting the material.

Rather, education should inspire students to think beyond the classroom, to wonder, question, ponder, think, feel, create, connect. 

Gady and the omnipotent CEO (Dov Peleg) listened politely. I was sure that they wouldn’t hire me (it’s hard to get a job when you propose disruption). 

 

But they did!! 

 

 

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That was four academic years ago. It’s been quite a roller coaster ride. I recently found the original powerpoint proposal. I’m sharing it together with pictures and comments on what we were able to do, what we weren’t, what went right, what went wrong and why. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

And so it began. The first thing I did was co-opt my buddies Dr. Alon Amit and Hagai Cohen to get involved. People on campus couldn’t understand why they would enthusiastically want to volunteer to teach and help engage students. But they did.

 

And so did I. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

The first thing we did was to go out and look for students that wanted to get involved.I spoke to the student union but they were cynical politicos. I found the amazing students in the cafeteria. 

 

A band of them went out one night and painted all the benches on campus. I’m not sure whether they knew that the president and CEO had okayed the disruption and bought the paint. 

 

I arrived the next morning. It had rained that night. Nevertheless the paint was intact. The campus had become full of color and the students had left their mark across campus.  

 

I expected people from the academic staff to comment, complain, suggest. They never did, at least not to me. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

Part of my role was helping others with their own innovative projects. Michal Chill, head of the library, organized a series of cool events and exhibitions. We dragged a green tree into the library. It’s still there. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

Yifat Rosental and Michal Sela wanted us to have our own TED-ex event. We did. It was a great success. We also hosted two TED-ex youth events, the annual Ramon conference, an open exhibit of Didi Vardi’s ‘useless’ sculptures, and many others. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

We even ran an event on proper luncheon etiquette. We called it “There ARE Free Lunches”. We offered free lunch to twenty hungry students, but they had to sit through a lesson by Rachel Mendelovitz on proper behavior at the dining table. 

By the way, the event was held right smack in the center of the cafeteria. It generated lots of interest. And some good manners. 

 

But by far, the wackiest event was….

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

“BirdBrain”, an un-conference on creative spirit. At the BirdBrain you’re unable to describe anything wonderful and innovative, as long as it is impractical, ridiculous, or completely far-fetched. This video only gives you a bird’s eye view of this great event which celebrates unabashed creativity with few inhibitions. 

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The students of our “multidisciplinary creative thinking” course created a “pirate day”. They turned the deck of the cafeteria into a pirate ship, complete with scaffolds and cannons. We took another course captive. They made me walk the plank. 

 

To top it off, we invited an expert to give a talk on internet piracy. They made it all the more relevant. I was particularly excited when several students not taking the course sat down to listen. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

One of our greatest challenges was connecting the students studying design with those studying science and engineering. They even have derogatory nicknames for one another.

The faculties are separated by only thirty meters, but it’s seems like an ocean.  On the other hand, what connects the left and right brain better than music?

So we opened an academic course called “The Music of the Sixties: Evolution of the Revolution”.  It was multidisciplinary and eclectic. Students poured in from all over campus. They formed a band which played during class itself. They brought their parents to class. I had satisfaction. 

 

The course flowed out of class and we had jam sessions each week with students and staff. 

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Other course which we developed at HIT included “The DNA of Success”, a flipped class in which we interviewed highly successful individuals from Israel and abroad on their special sauce. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

We opened our doors to barefoot hackers of education…

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

Wearable developers….

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

We created a science museum on campus with a harmonic swing…

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A chaos machine…

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

and the biggest magnetic graffiti wall in academia anywhere…

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

We filled the display cupboard with children’s book written and illustrated by the students in our course “Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books”. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

A semi-underground graffiti artist made the campus come alive. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

We displayed 100 easels with artwork of the design students in the science building. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

We made four amazing murals combining the metaphysical poetry of Shlomit Cohen-Assif and the tranforming artwork of Danniela Koffler.

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

And conducted weird impromptu video interviews with visiting celebs. 

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But the times have changed, and the political winds have shifted. The murals are no longer on the wall of the cafeteria. The park benches have all been painted puke-brown. The display cupboards are bare. The easels are all but gone. The sixties music course is now given at Tel Aviv University. The other courses have disappeared from the curriculum.

 

And I will soon be waiting on other tables. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com

Was it a success? A failure?

 

Looking back, it’s clear to me that we touched the hearts (and hopefully minds) of many hundreds, perhaps thousands of students at HIT. On the other hand, our brand of academic disruption did not go over well with the majority of the academic staff at the college, who tend to be super-conservative and opposed us whenever they could. Our support and inspiration had come primarily from the head of administration, the CEO Dov Peleg. When he left, we lost the backing that we needed to help change come about. 

 

 

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But we did show the folks at HIT that they could be amazing. And we did learn that change in academia is possible in the short term, but not necessarily sustainable over the long term.  Hopefully, we will be more successful next time.  

 

Thank you HIT for four amazing years!!  We’ll miss you. 

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Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
Being Amazing at the Holon Institute of Technology by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Ourboox.com
This free e-book is brought to you by
Ourboox.com

Ourboox is the world's simplest platform for creating and sharing amazing ebooks.

You too can become one of our 75,000 authors.

Join us now and start creating your own books right away.

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