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Keynote speaker emphasizes 21st century teaching techniques to MCSD teachers

Technology is key to engaging students

September 9, 2014

 Gone are the days when teachers could rely on lecture alone to engage with their students, according to an education expert who recently visited Monticello High School.

Jim Warford, keynote speaker at opening day for Montcicello teachers, shares his ideas for 21st century teaching techniques.“Students are wired differently (than in the past),” Jim Warford, senior advisor at the International Center for Leadership in Education told more than 100 Monticello Central School District teachers during their Sept. 3 Superintendent’s Conference Day.
The keynote speech focused on how teachers could use technology to enhance their classroom several strategies, tools and techniques that teachers may incorporate into their classrooms.

During his speech, Mr. Warford, a renowned education speaker and Senior Advisor at the International Center for Leadership in Education, addressed the need for curriculum change in the 21st century and focused on the demand for schools to develop in its students the skills needed to succeed in the current and future economy. Teachers welcome Jim Warford to Monticello Central School District.

Today’s educators are preparing students for jobs that don’t even exist, he said, predicting that as technology continues to evolve, future careers will be primarily technology-based.

A guiding principle of these standards is that technology should be integrated to help students learn more effectively, he said.

As school districts continue implementing Common Core Learning Standards, there is rising concern about their technological preparedness to support students in meeting the standards, Mr. Warford said.
In the past, educators relied on lectures and note taking to educate their class. Today’s students will not find this captivating, he said.

Monticello administrators are enjoying the keynote speech by education expert Jim Warford.“We’re using chalkboards to teach students who live in an iPhone world,” he said. “Technology has transformed how today’s youth interact; our education should reflect that.”

To make curriculum more relevant, Mr. Warford suggests incorporating the Rigor/Relevance Framework into lesson plans. The Rigor/Relevance Framework, a guide created by the International Center for Leadership in Education, examines ways to provide students the opportunity to apply their knowledge to new contexts, communicate it in complex ways and solve unforeseen problems.

The framework has four quadrants; and each quadrant describes a different level of student learning. Quadrants A through C describe a passive learning environment, one in which students do not apply their lessons critically.

Quadrant D focuses on a shift from teacher- centered instruction to student- centered learning. In short, teaching at a Quadrant D level helps students acquire skills acquire skills that will allow them to apply their knowledge to unpredictable situations in the world beyond school.

During the discussions, Monticello teachers discussed ways to make their curriculum more engaging to their tech-savvy students.

Superintendent Tammy Mangus said she felt the day was a success. Mr. Warford’s lecture left staff and faculty inspired to incorporate innovative educational tactics to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a changing world, she said.