About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4039-4044
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0980

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain


D. Rosenberg

“The Heart of the Matter” is an innovative learning environment introducing the scientific & technological principles as well as the associated ethical dilemmas of cutting edge Cardiac Diagnostic Technologies [CDT].

The program is a collaboration between ORT Israel, a secondary school and technical college's network, and Webster-Biosense ltd [WB], a developer of Cardiac Imaging Technologies and a subsidiary of J&J, an international pharma and medical device corporation.
The joint program originates from isolated collaborations between WB volunteers at local ORT schools. Joint interest led WB to further contribute to science and technology programs developed by ORT to be used nation-wide. On 2014, WB commissioned ORT to develop a course to explain their technologies to both secondary school students and the public. To this end, WB donated money, materials and information about the technologies they develop.

The main challenge of this project was to find a way to introduce cutting edge and highly sophisticated technology of CDTs to 14-17 y/o students who had just recently been acquainted with basic physics.

The fact that the science and technology elements that we wished to introduce were part of an actual product was an advantage since it is an applied example of theoretical science. Yet, we faced a severe problem, since most science teachers are not physicians, electrical or mechanical engineers. We turned this problem into an advantage and redesign the role of the teachers onto mentors, which do not own all the knowledge yet can guide their students through their experience.

The learning environment is designed for two types of users: the open public interested in CDT and the technologies of WB; and secondary school students, as part of their science and technology studies. WB took part in the characterization of the project and advised in various steps of the development.

Surveys carried amongst teachers and students from the previous pilot year showed high motivation and interest in the program. Preliminary feedback from this year exceeds the previous. ‘The Heart of the Matter’ program launched on June 2016 and over 600 students are using the learning environment this year.

The program contains lesson plans, experiments in science and engineering, ethical dilemmas, medical technology and social issues. All the students’ content is open and available for use. Registered teachers and their students can use the additional on-line collaboration, e-portfolio, quizzes and assignments. Teachers can find lesson plans, presentations and teaching materials as well as the ability to oversee their students’ progress and offer formative assessment on their work. This service is also free of charge.

It is imported to mention that the learning environment, although bearing the WB logo and case showing its products, is not a commercial website, and specific WB products are rarely mentioned explicitly.

The main lessons thereby are:
(1) a Private Public Partnership in education can be a great opportunity to revive and to update an out of date curriculum as well as provide a layer of multidisciplinary and compelling realistic application scenarios;
(2) sophisticated technologies can be explained to, and explored by secondary school students in a tangible and experiential form;
(3) Technology companies can and should do more than philanthropy to promote educational causes. Their knowledge and expertise are valuable resources in education.
author = {Rosenberg, D.},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.0980},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.0980},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {4039-4044}}
AU - D. Rosenberg
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.0980
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 4039
EP - 4044
ER -
D. Rosenberg (2017) THE HEART OF THE MATTER, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 4039-4044.