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Teachers urged to embrace technology

Eric Sheninger poses a thought-provoking question during professional development for teachers in Madison City Schools. CONTRIBUTED
Eric Sheninger poses a thought-provoking question during professional development for teachers in Madison City Schools. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Before returning to the classroom for spring semester, Madison teachers were challenged to have open minds about technology in the classroom and endorse the idea of the 21-century classroom.

“How can you prepare students for the future if you are stuck in the past?” was one question from Eric Sheninger during his presentation, “Transforming Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age.” All teachers in Madison City Schools assembled in James Clemens High School auditorium to hear Sheninger on Jan. 4.

Formerly, Sheninger worked as a teacher and principal in New Jersey. He now serves as senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education (ericsheninger.com).

In his work, Sheninger concentrates on learning in the digital age as a model to move both schools and districts forward. His ”

Pillars of Digital Leadership” has given a framework for all educators to successfully change school cultures.

Sheninger’s main focus “is purposeful integration of technology to facilitate student learning, improve communications with stakeholders, enhance public relations, create a positive brand presence, discover opportunity, transform learning spaces and help educators grow professionally,” according to his website.

At James Clemens, Sheninger discussed the need to eliminate reluctance to using online devices and resources. He believes these challenges can transform into positive learning experiences for students.

“Sheninger told how he transformed as principal from shunning technology to embracing digital teaching,” John S. Peck said. Peck works as Public Relations Manager for Madison City Schools.

In Madison, teachers and principals already have implemented numerous concepts for technology, such as Makerspace, ‘flipped’ classrooms and digital portfolios.

“Sheninger stressed the importance of letting go of the fear of losing control in decisions to incorporate more digital learning in the classroom,” Peck said. “‘Trust’ the students and remember it’s their education in a world that is increasingly immersed in technology.”

On Jan. 5, Madison teachers for all elementary and secondary schools continued with sessions for professional development. Students and teachers will return to class on Jan. 6.

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