Category Archives: Critical Thinking

Raising Digitally Savvy Kids

 

Media literate means to be adept at accessing media and to effectively use digital technologies to be participants in society. Media literate children are able to think critically about what they see and read as well as have positive interaction with digital technology. Tech savvy students can consume digital content and create literate media as a result of being media literate.

How do you teach kids to build digital media skills? When children are young, adult supervision is critical. Watching media with a child is a good start, but also discussing with them what they are viewing. It is important to discuss with students how they are using social media and how to recognize the fact that media design is advertising-driven. One of the best ways to build digital media skills is through creation and then sharing of media.

How can parents teach kids to balance tech and real life responsibilities? As adult role models, parents (and teachers) need to be cognizant of their own media consumption and consider when they choose tech over real life interactions. Parents should set clear limits (especially for younger children) regarding the amount of time spent engaged with tech and what media is being consumed. Parents can create a schedule prioritizing school work and play; and then providing opportunities for family time (meals together, family game night, outdoor activities).

How should parents approach teens about responsible tech/media use? The teen years are when identities are formed and are marked with experimentation in many areas; tech use included. It is a time when they begin to be exposed to adult experiences. Teens often hold little regard for parental (or adult) control. Rather, parents should see their role as an advisor setting reasonable limits. Parents can extend conversations about their own online experiences and stay informed about what is happening on all social media platforms.

With the current state of learning both at home and school, it’s more important than ever for schools to incorporate digital literacy into the curriculum. Organizations such as Common Sense Media offer MS/HS curriculum. Students should be taught to corroborate and verify any information they find online through the use of lateral reading (verify as you read). It is also important to teach students to continually question what they read and hear and teachers can facilitate those discussions in the classroom or video classroom.

What strategies can be used to teach children to think critically when using tech? Parents and teachers can look for teachable moments such as a child’s first encounter with a stranger online. Relate online situations to real life ones. Parents could take a family photo and then discuss the appropriateness of sharing it online; the discussion could extend to understanding digital security and how algorithms work for information sharing. Critical thinking must extend beyond the content to how the tech is being used; seeking a purposeful use of the media they consume.

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 Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM 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.

Lisa Conrad 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:

5 Ways to Raise Tech-Savvy Kids (& Responsible!)

How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids in the Digital Age

The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life (book)

Screen Time: How Electronic Media–From Baby Videos to Educational Software–Affects Your Young Child (book 2012)

Digital Literacy: Raising Tech and Media Savvy Kids

Critical Media Project (website)

How to Raise Digitally Savvy Kids

Educating and Empowering Digital Citizens (website)

Digital Learning Projects for Tech Savvy Kids (2020)

How to Raise Digital Savvy Children in a Digital World

Tips for Parents on Raising Privacy-Savvy Kids (pdf)

8 Classroom Edtech Strategies That Develop Critical Thinking Skills

How to Use Technology to Foster Higher-thinking Skills in Class

Using Technology to Develop Students’ Critical Thinking Skills

Cybraryman’s Digital Literacy Page

Cybraryman’s Media Literacy Page

Zapatopi (website)

Dark Patterns (website)

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

A Summer of Opportunities

 

With so much upheaval in our world, we that it might be a good time to chat about all the opportunities available this summer.  How can we make the upcoming months teachable moments – critical thinking about the spread of the virus, empathy, grace towards others? Every single person involved in education has experienced some level of trauma. Consideration of others will be of the upmost important when schools resume. Simply because schools reopen should not imply that the risks from the spread of coronavirus have been eliminated. Class instruction and discussion should take this into account.

A lot has been said about re-imagining education. This may be the time to advocate for best practices in gifted education – such as, acceleration and mastery-based learning. Many schools are now planning to resume in person classes this summer as well as online options for students who prefer to wait. Most experts seem to agree that outdoor summer activities such as day camps are viable options for students.

If we have learned nothing else, it is that schools are so much more than simply an institution for delivering instruction. For many students, it is a place of shelter, a source of nourishment, and where children develop social skills. Schools must work to provide students with a clean, anti-viral atmosphere where they feel safe to return to.  The summer months will be a time for significant planning to ensure that teachers & staff are prepared to meet the trauma-induced needs of returning students.

How can educators use their summer break to personally prepare for a return to school? After so much time out of the classroom, the summer break can be a time to prepare for the unforeseen. Although schools may resume in coming months, classes could be suspended just as quickly as they did in the spring. This summer, most professional development opportunities are being offered online. This eliminates costly travel and related expenses making it a great option for expanded learning.

How can parents best use (non-academic) the summer months while respecting the presence of #COVID19? Most parents have had to suddenly become surrogate teachers over the past few months and summer may be a time to get reacquainted with summertime parenting. With so many under quarantine for many months, the upcoming summer months should include time outside and time for play while certainly respecting the presence of the coronavirus.

With so many impending changes to how we educate our children, this summer needs to involve some form of professional development with specific consideration of safety procedures for both students and teachers. This summer, all of us should be open to the possibility of significant changes and how we’ll adapt when schools eventually reopen.

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 Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM 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.

Lisa Conrad 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:

TX: Pasadena ISD Summer School Expected to be Busy Because Of Pandemic

TX: Pasadena ISD Summer Information for ECHS (Early College High School) Class of 2024

NAGC: At-Home Summer Fun for Creative Kids & Families for June 2020 (pdf)

NAGC: Beyond School Walls: What Parents Can Do to Widen the Horizons of Their Gifted Learners (pdf)

NAGC: Getting Gifted Kids Outdoors – Tips for a Summer of Play (pdf)

NAGC: Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy (pdf)

Summer Institute for the Gifted 2020

NuMinds Enrichment: Camp Pursuit 2020

Michigan State University Gifted and Talented Education Summer Programs 2020 – Live Online (Apply by 6/15)

Northwestern University: Center for Talent Development Online Summer Programs 2020

Columbia University Teachers College: Summer Certification

Texas Wildlife Association Youth On-Demand Webinars

NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development Collaborative (Digital Badging)

Rodriguez Resources GT (Google Docs)

Summer Writing Residency Online

Depth and Complexity RULES Webinar Series

National Inventors Hall of Fame Summer Programs 2020

Turning Challenges into Opportunities with Open Educational Resources

MENSA: At-home Learning Resources for Kids

PAGE: Gifted and Talented Resources

MO: Springfield Public Schools Announces In-Person Classes for July’s Session of Explore

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

GT Education Post COVID19

 

Teachers are reporting both in the US and Australia that shy, hyperactive, and highly creative kids are thriving out of the classroom. These were kids they were concerned about while school was still in session. GT students are expressing relief at being at home in an environment where they can self-pace, be able to independently structure their day, have fewer distractions, and have time to work on passion projects. Older GT students feel less pressure due to less standardized testing, fewer extracurricular activities required to bolster college admissions, and freedom from social peer pressures.

What unique challenges have existed for our twice-exceptional students during quarantine? Our 2E kids often have additional needs for one-on-one support which may not be possible in the home setting. Without a more formal schedule for task completion, some struggle with getting school work done. Many twice-exceptional students have multiple services in school such as OT, PT, Speech and SEL counseling. Most parents cannot provide all these supports at home.

Inequities in education that existed before the pandemic are being highlighted now such as the digital divide: access to technology and Internet access. GT students in low income areas are experiencing food insecurity, have parents & family members who must work outside the home & aren’t available to monitor school work, or lack access to mentoring/enrichment activities. Education is highly influenced by negative factors – test anxiety, bullying, income disparity, inflexible rules, passive learning vs. engaged learning, and failure to take into account student voice.

What positive effects of e-learning can we use to inform the future of education? One of the most profound effects e-learning has revealed is the antiquated approach to educating students. Time in seat does not equal learning. Much of a student’s time in school is wasted time. The future of education must realize that test scores on standardized tests does not indicate what a student has ‘learned’. It indicates how well a student tests. Unstructured time can be used for creative expression, contemplating possibilities, pursuit of passions, collaborative projects, and the potential for much needed rest.

As budgets tighten for school districts, how can they avoid eliminating gifted education? Gifted education never needed to be expensive; it needed to overcome false narratives created as excuses for not providing an appropriate education for GT students. Gifted education advocates need to do more than raise their voices; they need to offer solutions to providing equitable education to all students rather than as an alternative program, but also one which meets GT students’ needs. School districts and administrators must acknowledge the existence of GT and Twice-exceptional students who have educational and social-emotional needs. FAPE applies to ALL students.

Quarantine/Time-at-Home during this global crisis has been revelatory and should be seen as an opportunity to transform educational practices; especially regarding gifted education. Advocates for gifted education have been advocating competency-based learning, acceleration, and personalized learning. We must reimagine  education based on a student’s needs and creative abilities rather than a return to the status quo based on a system organized for the benefit of adults.

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 Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM 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.

Lisa Conrad 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:

AUS: The Students Who are in the Zone Studying at Home

Why Are Some Kids Thriving During Remote Learning?

Gifted Development Center: My Future…What Now? Teens talk about moving forward in our challenging times with Dr. Jim Delisle (YouTube 1:04)

Meeting the Needs of Gifted Learners at a Distance – A Focus on Grades 4-8

Cultivating Calm Amidst a Storm

Parenting for High Potential: Management of Anxiety Begins at Home (pdf)

Coping With the Stress of COVID-19: Tips for Families with Gifted Children (YouTube 9:13)

Resources for Providing Young Children Academic Support During the Quarantine

COVID-19 and Anxiety in Gifted Children

IAGC: 3 Top Strategies for Helping Your Child Cope with Anxiety during Challenging Times (YouTube 20:09)

What if We… Don’t Return to School as Usual (Medium)

The Invisible Blizzard and the Importance of E-learning

Unpacking Adult Mindsets (pdf 2002)

Mind Matters Podcast: Preparing for Post Pandemic Recovery (Audio 36:16)

Transitioning Gifted Education Online: A World of Possibilities

NAGC: Supporting Advanced Learners: New Roles for Parent Advocates during Times of Remote Learning

Fort Bend ISD: Covid-19 Gifted and Talented Resources

Special Solocast: Thoughts on Parenting Differently Wired Kids through a Pandemic (Audio 14:15)

Short Story Exploration (pdf)

6 Ways to Transition IEP Goals to Remote Learning

Parent Involvement Has Always Mattered. Will The COVID-19 Pandemic Finally Make This The New Normal In K-12 Education?

Distance Learning During The Coronavirus Pandemic: Equity And Access Questions For School Leaders

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Exploring Passion-Based Learning

 

Passion-Based Learning builds on students’ passion to assist in learning. It facilitates learning focusing on current passions and stimulating new interests. It begins at a position of strength motivating students to want to learn and take the initiative to solve problems important to them. It provides the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills, how to work and communicate with others, and seek creative solutions to problems.

Why is Passion-Based Learning a good option for GT students? Passion-Based Learning invokes intrinsic motivation. Through interested inquiry, GT students are lead to deeper learning, are better able to retain new learning, and develop stronger relationships with their teachers and peers. It enables students to think creatively, increases student engagement, and motivates students to take the lead in their own learning. Passion-Based Learning makes learning personal and relevant to students’ lives; prepares them for careers that involve their passions. It empowers GT students and encourages them to seek unique solutions to real world problems.

How can teachers get started with Passion-Based Learning in their classrooms? Passion-Based Learning builds on students’ previous experiences at the same time using materials and information that increases their knowledge and learning about the topic being studied. The very process of Passion-Based Learning enables students to not only consume content but to learn how to plan and design a project using research methods curated content. Teachers can facilitate it by allowing students time to connect emotionally with their passions and time to collaborate with like-minded peers via classroom interactions or online. Teachers can foster a learning environment which encourages creativity, imagination, curiosity, discovery, and risk-taking.

Technology in Passion-Based Learning can open doors to global collaboration with mentors as well as experts in the student’s field of study. It provides students the opportunity to conduct research and gain technical expertise in their final product design. Technology can also provide students with an authentic audience to review their products and solutions.

Parents can play a vital role in Passion-Based Learning outside of school by supporting classroom activities such as encouraging imaginative play, facilitating face-to-face collaboration with peers, and providing necessary resources. They can look for opportunities to inspire their children’s passions and then time to explore those passions.

Where can you find resources for Passion-Based Learning? Edutopia is a great resource for Passion-Based Learning. Resources for Passion-Based Learning can also be found by searching for Project-Based Learning, Genius Hour, Design Thinking. All the resources shared during chat can be found below.

A transcript of this chat may 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/1 AM 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.

Lisa Conrad 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 to Ignite Passion in Your Students: 8 Ways Educators Can Foster Passion-based Learning

The 4 Essential Elements of Passion-based Learning

Edutopia: Passion-Based Learning

Passion-Based Learning

Guidelines of Passion-Based Learning

A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change (book)

Passion-Based Learning A Practical Way for Educators to Empower Learners

Passion that Chooses Us

25 Ways To Promote Passion-Based Learning In Your Classroom

Passion-Based Projects in Education

How I Used Personal Passion Projects In My Classroom

Teaching Strategies to Help Students Find Their Passion

Teaching Strategies to Promote Passion, Empower Students

Passion-Driven Research Projects

Catch a Fire: Fuelling Inquiry and Passion Through Project-Based Learning (book)

The Power of Passion Projects For Kids

Passion-Driven Classroom, The: A Framework for Teaching and Learning (book)

10 Ways to Encourage Passion-based Learning

Sprite’s Site: Grey Sneakers

Sprite’s Site: Brown Brogues

Andi McNair: Genius Hour (website)

Cybraryman’s Self-Determined Learning Page

Cybraryman’s Passion-Based Learning Page

Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students (book)

Gifts for Learning (website)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

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