Monthly Archives: February 2021

Integrating AI into Gifted Education

This week we chatted about integrating AI (artificial intelligence) into gifted education. Many GT students are well suited for using AI. There are two primary aspects of AI which may be appealing to gifted students; using AI as a supplement to learning and AI programming as a career. For a multitude of reasons as numerous as there are GT students, many view AI with the understanding that it is a tool to be used in their education; not a threat or as an instructor who questions their ability. GT students often express intense interest in areas outside the mainstream. AI can aid in research and communication with genuine academic peers. Many GT students have an affinity for technology. AI programming is a natural extension of that interest to improve the tech; to make it more user friendly while being cognizant of its potential misuse. AI also provides GT students the freedom to pursue their interests and an authentic audience for their findings.

Gifted education faces the same challenges faced by education as a whole to implementing the use of AI in the classroom. Unfortunately, the technology for wide-spread use of AI isn’t there yet. The vast potential uses for AI in education are mind-boggling. The prudent way forward would be to start small and build on early successes. Ethical questions and concerns over cyber-security issues are challenges which must be addressed in the immediate future. Programming biases can affect the usefulness of algorithms. Economic concerns are top of mind as school districts cannot afford to dedicate resources to unproven or not fully developed technologies. New technology always incurs the added expense of ongoing training for school personnel.

For decades it has been observed that so often GT students languish in classrooms while age-peers are taught material they have already mastered to the point it has become fodder for mean memes and the comics. Using AI in the classroom is more than employing robots as teachers. AI is just as likely to be a web application used to enhance learning. GT students can be supported in the classroom through digital assistants to personalize learning through differentiated instruction, timely feedback, and tutoring when necessary. For years, schools have focused on addressing students’ weaknesses and rightly so. However, AI has the ability to see potential without bias and address students’ strengths. The use of VR (virtual reality) in the classroom is only beginning to be explored. Providing first-hand experiences in a safe environment can be a game-changer. AI has the real potential to assist talented students where quantifying results and the resulting information feedback can be used to improve performance.

How can AI be used to support teachers? First and foremost, AI should be considered as an assistant not a replacement for teachers. AI is a valuable tool for communication, assessment, differentiated instruction, analyzing student data, classroom management, and teacher training. It can be used to support teachers by assisting with lesson planning, scheduling, adaptive learning, classroom audio-visual device management, and test prep. AI can empower teachers to become lifelong learners, policy influencers, and provide time to connect to their students to facilitate learning. It can support schools with scheduling staff, transportation, facilities management and maintenance, safety and security, and cybersecurity.

Smarter content is an excellent example of how AI can support the learning process. Digital lessons can be enhanced through customization in the form of digital textbooks; targeted and individualized lessons; and study guides. Information can be presented in new ways such as AI produced visualizations, content simulation, and within online study environments. AI allows for instantaneous updates to information contained in lessons and the ability to customize content to different learning abilities.

How has COVID19 impacted the use of AI in K-12? Cash-strapped schools due to coronavirus may delay acquiring new tech. However, others will have benefited by the purchases of tech devices to provide remote learning. Many will also benefit from the data provided by AI already in use. COVID19 propelled many of us into the future to accommodate hybrid and remote learning. Research into the feasibility of AI occurred in real time. Security and accountability issues were addressed head on. It became more of a tool and less of a threat.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

How AI Will Impact Talented Kids In The Future | Duke TIP

Humanoid Robots for Skill Augmentation of Gifted Children: Teachers’ Perceptions and Islamic Implications (pdf) | ScienceDirect

Computers in Education for Talented and Gifted Students: A Book for Elementary and Middle School Teachers (pdf)

How AI Can Make the World More Fair for ‘gifted’ Kids

Using Technology with Gifted Students

Ethical Approach to AI Opens a World of Possibilities for Young Gifted Students

Using EEG Features and Machine Learning to Predict Gifted Children (pdf)

Five Ways to Make AI a Greater Force for Good in 2021 | MIT Technology Review

Unleashing the Power of AI for Education | MIT Technology Review

Advantages and Challenges of AI in Education for Teachers and Schools

Intelligence (AI) Is Transforming Education for the Better

IBM Research: Neuro-Symbolic AI

What Is Neuro-Symbolic AI and Why Are Researchers Gushing Over It

The Effects of Artificial Intelligence on Education

Artificial Intelligence in K-12: The Right Mix for Learning or a Bad Idea? | Ed Week

Future of Education and Skills 2030: Conceptual Learning Framework (pdf) | OECD

5 Ways AI Is Changing the Education Industry

Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Education: Scary, Harmful, Or Awesome?

8 Helpful Everyday Examples of Artificial Intelligence

5 Main Roles of Artificial Intelligence in Education

AI in Education: Where is It Now and What is the Future?

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Learning

Artificial Intelligence Explorations and Their Practical Use in K-12 School Environments Program (FREE course) | ISTE

Automated Writing Feedback Programs Help Teachers Coach Students How to Write

Cybraryman’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Gifted Kid Burnout

This week’s chat topic was predicated on the ‘gifted kid burnout’ meme that’s been circulating on the Internet for several years; most recently on TikTok. The idea of gifted kids struggling with burnout goes back decades; researched as early as the 1980s. However, the term – gifted kid burnout – as coined on social media platforms is a more recent phenomenon. Users describe themselves as identified ‘gifted students’ in elementary school who face lifelong struggles with destructive perfectionism, low self-esteem, failure to live up to the expectations of others and mental health issues.

It’s important to recognize the signs of gifted kid burnout. It may manifest at an early age, but onset generally occurs during middle school or high school. It becomes consequential during college years. Gifted students report academic anxiety, panic attacks, imposter syndrome, an inability to interact with age peers and to control life outcomes. Students labelled gifted in elementary school can feel overwhelmed when they eventually confront challenging work at the secondary level. After years of high grades, test scores, and praise, they may have to contend with less than perfect.

What strategies can teachers use to minimize gifted kid burnout? First and foremost, teachers who interact with gifted students should be required to have coursework and or professional development in gifted education. This can enhance awareness of the needs of these students. Gifted students are more than their academic standing in school. Strategies should include SEL components. When evidenced, underachievement should be recognized and dealt with on an individual basis. Interventions should be considered when students begin to vocalize concerns over high expectations, mood and behavioral changes, or unexpected withdrawal from social interactions.

Gifted adults can begin the road to recovery by recognizing that their talents do not define who they are; they do. They should be aware that being labelled ‘gifted’ as a student was a means to an end rather than a diagnosis. Gifted adults may need to seek professional help if they feel recovery isn’t possible; if their daily lives or careers are adversely affected.

Parents of gifted children are in a unique position to observe and advocate for their child. They need to know and recognize the signs of burnout. Engaging in meaningful conversations with their child often is crucial. They should also realize the importance of fostering self-advocacy in their child by including them in the advocacy process. This can provide all stakeholders insight into the child’s level of pressure they are feeling. Parents know their child best. Seek help when necessary from a trusted source. Form alliances with other parents for support.

The idea of burnout is not new to the gifted community. Seeing it expressed on social media by so many young people not engaged in gifted organizations is new. It is extremely important for local, state and national organizations to share available resources and strategies with the general public, educators and parents.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

‘Gifted kid burnout’ is More than a Punchline

The Real Reason Gifted Kid Burnout TikToks Are Going Viral

Mindset Misconception? Comparing Mindsets, Perfectionism, and Attitudes of Achievement in Gifted, Advanced, and Typical Students (pdf)

Gifted Kid Burnout—Social Media Phenomenon or Mental Health Pandemic?

Gifted Kid Burnout Can Plague High Achievers

Gifted Kid Syndrome

The Truth Behind “Gifted Kid Burnout” Memes

When Bright Kids Become Disillusioned | NAGC

How Virtual Learning Has Contributed to Gifted Kid Burnout

Gifted Kid Burnout

Strategies to Avoid Experiencing A “Gifted Kid Burnout” Issue

What does it mean to be gifted?  

Bore-out: A Challenge for Unchallenged Gifted (young) Adults | SENG

Aptitude Sickness

Gifted Teen Offers Personal Perspective on What It’s Like to Be Gifted | NAGC

Gifted Kid Burnout: Breaking Free of “Smartness”

Why Potential is Paralyzing | Burnt-Out Gifted Kids Interview (YouTube 53:44)

Helping Gifted Students with Stress Management | Davidson Gifted

Purpose in Life among High Ability Adolescents

Burnout: The Gifted Student Epidemic

Challenging Your Gifted Child without Leading into Burnout

Stress and Burnout among Preadolescent and Early Adolescent Gifted Students: A Preliminary Investigation (1986 Abstract Only) | The Journal of Early Adolescence

Pressure, Stress, and the Gifted Student

Gifted Kid Burnout Things that No One seems to Talk About | Tumblr

How a Novel Can Unmake the Myth of Meritocracy

Helping Gifted Students with Stress Management

Cybraryman’s Yoga and Meditation Page

Cybraryman’s Coping Strategies Page

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Thinking and Writing through Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is a modern-era way tell your story using the multi-media tools available. Digital stories generally are a mix of  images, audio and video and presented on multiple platforms. Digital authors can tell their stories through such means as ebooks, blogs, PP presentations, TikTok, documentaries, and even tweets.

The 7 elements of digital storytelling are based on traditional storytelling: point of view, a dramatic question, emotional content, personal voice, soundtrack,  economy of content, and pacing. Over time, the original elements have been modified to include an overall purpose for the story, clarity of the author’s voice, using meaningful audio, being cognizant of good grammar and language used, and quality visual elements. Digital storytelling has spawned new ways of thinking about how a story is told considering digital composition, digital literacy, and multimodal literacy which in turn affects how we think.

Digital storytelling is an enhanced way to tell a story. Done right, it is a better way to get the author’s thoughts across to their audience. It extends the scope and authenticity of the audience. Digital storytelling can be limited by the availability of technology. Access to resources can be a major factor in how well a storyteller gets their message across. It’s the difference between pen & paper and the printing press. The potential audience is exponentially greater than that of traditional storytelling. Today’s stories can be accessed globally in an instant on a wide variety of platforms and devices.

Digital storytelling can enhance learning. It elevates dry and oftentimes boring subject matter to a  higher level of student engagement. Digital stories provide a way for the student to become a part of the story; to interact with the story and the author. This can invite active learning. A good digital story connects the author and audience. It builds a sense of community between the story teller and the listener.

Digital storytelling in the GT classroom is about using technology in a way to spark the imagination and critical thinking. In the GT classroom it transforms thinking about how a story is told to understanding why a story should be told. Digital storytelling can become an effective method for learning and using essential skills such as research, selecting resources, using technology, collaborating with peers, and how to present a story.

What are the benefits of digital storytelling for GT students? It can inspire a GT student’s thinking and writing. It explores depth and complexity. It can create a sense of community with their intellectual peers. Learning the digital storytelling process can ignite creative thinking. The digital author transform from storyteller to director and producer through critical thinking about choice of tech tools to tell their story.

A transcript of the chat can be found on our Wakelet page.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

7 Elements of Digital Storytelling in 4 Minutes (YouTube 3:59)

TEDx: The Evolution of Digital Story Telling (YouTube 15:14)

TEDx: Why Storytelling is So Powerful in the Digital Era (YouTube 14:33)

TEDx: Why Storytelling is More Trustworthy than Presenting Data (YouTube 13:55)

Harvard Business Publishing: What Makes Storytelling So Effective for Learning?

How can I use Digital Storytelling in the Classroom?

AU (Univ. of Wollongong): Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling: an Efficient and Engaging Learning Activity

The Effectiveness of Digital Storytelling in the Classrooms: A Comprehensive Study

Columbia: Digital Storytelling 2019

30 Sites and Apps for Digital Storytelling

Eastern Washington University: Digital Storytelling

Penn State: Digital Storytelling

Digital Composition, Storytelling & Multimodal Literacy: What Is Digital Composition & Digital Literacy?

Digital Storytelling for Engagement in COVID-19 Era

Digital Storytelling Apps for Elementary Students

Digital Storytelling Guide (pdf) https://bit.ly/3nqe6cz

The Storytelling Project Model: A Theoretical Framework for Critical Examination of Racism through the Arts

Cybraryman’s Digital Storytelling Page

Cybraryman’s Storytelling Page

Episode 1: Introduction – The Mechanical Universe (YouTube 28:46)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Supporting Exhausted Parents during the Pandemic

We’ve covered similar topics over the past 10 months, but the seemingly unending crisis of #COVID19 has taken a toll on parents. Parents are struggling with isolation, uncertainty, and sadness on a daily basis. Exhaustion is a constant reminder that things have only gotten worse and any ‘end in sight’ scenario is an elusive goal. They are constantly confronting child care and school closures, juggling work schedules, coping with  family illness.

Parents of GT children face the same societal issues they’ve always faced: that raising a gifted and/or talented child is a breeze. They’ll do fine on their own. They’re smart; they’ll figure things out. The problem with that when in the midst of a global pandemic is that indeed they do figure things out; they know the stakes are high even at a very young age. With understanding can come a rash of mental health issues – anxiety, depression, increased contemplation of suicide, drug use.

What unique issues result from exhaustion for parents of twice-exceptional kids? Even in the best of times, parents of these kids are keenly aware of a need for adequate sleep to have extended patience and understanding with their child. Some parents have reported their child’s opposition of inability to comply with mask mandates and social distancing requests. Sensitivity issues are high on the list of  needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

How can schools help exhausted parents? Outreach to parents is essential. Informing parents well in advance to changes in school closures is particularly helpful. Extending mental health professional information and counseling via school counselors and support staff when necessary can be welcome relief for many parents. Parents should have a seat at the table when discussing safety concerns and mitigation efforts during in-school learning.

There is an endless supply of online advice for exhausted  parents … some of it excellent and some of it simply insulting. Traditional self-care actions may not be practical for many parents. This pandemic has called into question many traditional parenting strategies, but parents are learning to expect imperfection, expect to be interrupted, and don’t worry about complaining (you have a right to do so). Parenting in a pandemic has taught parents to appreciate their children, realize that schedules are not the end-all, and that spending time together can be a godsend. Building relationships has never been more important.

What positive aspects to parenting in a pandemic have you experienced that might inspire others? Many, many parents of gifted children have reported that their kids are thriving both academically and personally without worries about bullying and boredom in school. Families are seeing positive changes in children who are learning important life skills while at home, enjoying family time, and learning lessons taught by parents they wouldn’t have learned at school.

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

The Parental Burnout Crisis has Reached a Tipping Point

The Burnout is Real: Coping with Pandemic Parenting and Redefining Self-care

5 Bright Spots from Our Crappy Year of Pandemic Parenting

Your Year in Pandemic Parenting (Audio 52:00) | KQED

Some Autistic People can’t Tolerate Face Masks Here’s How We’re Managing with our Son (may require subscription) | Washington Post

How to Reclaim a Positive Mental Attitude while Parenting in a Pandemic

Support for Kids with ADHD during the Pandemic  

Pandemic Parenting

Parenting in a Pandemic

The Brave New World of Parenting in the Pandemic | Psychology Today

Parenting in a time of #COVID-19 | The Lancet

Parenting During the Pandemic

Parenting During a Pandemic: How Parents Can Cope With Added Strains Due to the Covid Crisis (Audio 49:51)

Certain Parenting Behaviors Associated with Positive Changes in Well-being during COVID-19 Pandemic

Marina Gomberg says Parenting Fatigue is Real, so much so that She can’t even Finish this Headl …

7 Beliefs about Parenting That No Longer Serve Parents after the Pandemic

TX: New Parenting Website Aimed at Helping during Pandemic and Beyond

A Guide to Riding out the Rest of the Pandemic: Parenting in a Pinch

Study Examines Day-to-day Parenting Behavior during COVID-19 Restrictions

Parenting in a Pandemic takes Patience, Creativity

Helping Parents and Caregivers Cope with the Mental Health Challenges of Parenting during a Pandemic

Stress and Parenting during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Psychosocial Impact on Children | NIH

A Trauma Psychologist on the Stress of ‘Relentless Parenting’ During COVID-19 (Video 8:09)

The Psychological Impact of Quarantine and How to Reduce it: Rapid Review of the Evidence

Overwhelmed? You Are Not Alone | Psychology Today

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Page

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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