MAKASH focus in the areas of education and culture. Its mission is to harness innovative technologies and pedagogies to advance Israel society and Jewish culture.
MAKASH was established in the wake of a first experiment in Israel implementing Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) for education and for community development. This took place in the Shderot/Shaar HaNegev region in 1988, with the support of the director of the Bezeq, Israel incumbent Telecom, and led by the P.Sapir Negev College.
Citizens from the region and the professionals learned the lessons of the experiment and established MAKASH. They defined the requirements for a CMC system, then developed by the KavManhe corporation. It served as the backbone for a large network of schools all over the country. Prior to the opening of the Internet in Israel many schools had already acquired relevant educational experience in a variety of projects led by MAKASH: collaborative learning bridging different populations from development towns, kibbutzim and moshavim; religions and non-observant; Jews and Arabs.
MAKASH educational projects were inspired by the work of Michael Cole from the UCSD. He was involved in the study of dynamics of appropriation and use of new technologies and cultural-historical approaches to human development.
MAKASH operates in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Administration for Science and Technology / Administration for ICT, Technology and Information Systems (Information Technologies Division). MAKASH took the initiative in 1998 to incorporate Israel among the members of the EUN European Schoolnet the consortium of European Ministries of Education for ICT and innovation in education. MAKASH serves as the Israel National Contact Point (NCP) for the EUN.
Israel is partner in the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP/Horizon) whose purpose is stimulate innovation. The competitive process of this program guarantee the cutting edge quality of its initiatives. The areas of interest for MAKASH are those in which advanced technologies related to ICT and Social Science are integrated with innovative educational approaches and digital cultural heritage. Membership of Israel in the FP enable MAKASH to play a significant role in bridging innovation activities in Israel with those in Europe.