By Aryeh Savir
Israeli President Shimon Peres set a new Guinness World Record yesterday as he delivered the largest online civics class in the world. President Peres delivered the online class using Cisco’s advanced technology from the company’s headquarters in Netanya. Over 6,500 students from 215 classes across the country, sitting in 55 digitalized classrooms, participated, from Jerusalem, Beer Sheva, Tel Aviv, Kuseife, Ofakim, Dimona, Hadera, Tiberias, Tayibe, Nahariya, and other communities across Israel. The participants in the online class included Jewish and Arab students together. Senior Vice President of Guinness World Records Mr. Marco Frigatti arrived in Israel to verify the record setting.
Peres told the students that “I am older than you, but even at the age of 91 you can be excited. I am very much moved to see you, to be a teacher. I am thrilled that I am a teacher as well as a student. I have been a student my entire life. I envy you for being students. Why is it important to be a student? Knowledge is more important than accumulating wealth. Money come and goes, but you retain your knowledge forever.”
Israel is a world leader in the technology required for a record of this scale and there are currently efforts to introduce the technology into classrooms across the country. The class was a live demonstration of the technology which helps digitalize education worldwide, reducing the distance between the center of countries and the periphery, reducing inequality in education and allowing for lessons to be delivered by leading experts to thousands of pupils simultaneously. After the lesson the data was sent to a special results room in which Mr. Marco Frigatti followed the attempt along with representatives of Cisco and the Israeli education system. After the data was processed and analyzed and the numbers of students verified Mr. Frigatti announced that the record has been broken.
Tazpit News Agency