Category Archives: Online Education
Online learning for gifted students can be a way for these students to study with intellectual peers despite geographical barriers or lack of peers in local area. It has numerous benefits for 2e students who may struggle socially or emotionally to work or study in a regular classroom. The benefit of smaller classes and more individualized learning shouldn’t be overlooked.
Parents should take time to research whether their child would benefit from online learning. Participating in a free online class such as Khan Academy or similar program allows the student to experience online participation. Consideration should be given to the academic needs of the student and what classes are available. Also, it’s important to determine if classes fit in with long-range goals or may simply be taken for enrichment or a student’s passion. A student’s schedule should also be considered; does the student have time to take online classes?
What is the time commitment to take an online course? It is usually based on the program being taken. It may follow a semester format or calendar format. Online courses have evolved over time to include online live sessions, opportunities for study sessions, and ability to meet other students from all over the world.
Online learning is excellent for public, private or homeschool students to work in areas of interests not available to them otherwise. They can be extremely cost-effective for both schools and families.
Resources can be provided to help students connect with other students. Many online classes provide times for online chat sessions for students to meet, ask questions, and study together. GT students work well with intellectual peers, but often don’t have contact with them in real life. When possible and appropriate, students may want to schedule time to meet outside of class or even facetime with classmates or instructors.
Take time to make sure a student wants to engage in online classes and has the requisite skills to complete tasks, stay focused, and time to commit to online learning. Before starting an online class, seriously plan for what to do if things don’t work out. Devise a plan B just in case and hopefully it will never be needed. Parents should be prepared to provide a strong family support system to ensure a successful outcome for their child. We encourage you to read the transcript of this chat for additional information which 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 NZST/Noon 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.
Image courtesy of Unsplash
Photo courtesy of Madeline Goodwin and graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
Many websites, blog posts and conference presentations offer resources for parents or educators, but this week at #gtchat we focused on resources for the gifted child. When discussing books, it was noted that often books for parents are accompanied by books for children as well. This presents parents with the opportunity of talking with and interacting with their child on a particular subject.
Many gifted organizations (national and state) include information specifically for kids. It’s a good place to start. Other resources include Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, Mensa for Kids (last week’s guest), Byrdseed, and Hoagies Gifted.
Classroom resources which are uniquely suited for GT kids can be used in a standalone class or used in conjunction with a differentiated curriculum. It’s important to have a certified GT teacher who can help select appropriate classroom resources.
There are so many excellent available competitions. Most involve teamwork, but there are also those who have an individual opportunity for kids. It is important to match a kid’s interests to the competition. This isn’t always possible, but should be considered.
Online classes may be used to complete specific required coursework and should be taught by certified teachers. However, many GT kids like to take classes for fun where a certified teacher is not needed. MOOC’s are also a good way to provide acceleration opportunities for GT kids. Many now include credit granting options.
When planning for college, GT students may have unique challenges regarding situations involving acceleration, early (early) entrance, college credits earned in high school, and financing their education. College may not be the first option for all GT students; many may opt for a gap year or may not need college to utilize their talents. Career planning is important at this point. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.
Byrdseed’s Puzzlements (weekly email)
Nothing You Can’t Do (Prufrock Press)
Photo and graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
In many school districts, the end of elementary school also signals the end of gifted programming as well. However, giftedness has been documented as existing across the lifespan. Mistakenly, too many in education have been slow to realize the significance of this or ignore it altogether.
What are the main obstacles to continuing GT programming at the secondary level? Most secondary GT programs are fed through existing primary programs; poor identification and lack of options weaken viability. GT programming must be supported by strong advocacy from faculty and administrators; sadly, something too often missing. Secondary scheduling, too, can be difficult for any student when so many factors are involved – available classes, faculty and facilities.
There are some innovative ways to include gifted classes in middle and high schools. Innovation needs to be based on acceptance that gifted classes should be demonstrably different from general education. Middle and high school GT classes reap the greatest benefit in standalone programming; both academically and social-emotionally.
How do you approach middle/high school students who weren’t challenged at elementary level? Teachers and parents shouldn’t shy away from providing remedial or special skills classes to catch up GT students in specific areas. Professional development should be offered to teachers on identifying underachievers and/or 2E students.
What gets included in a GT student’s schedule should balance academics with passions; including the Arts. Students, parents and school personnel can make the best decisions when lines of communication are fully open.
Academic competitions can supplement a GT student’s schedule, but shouldn’t be considered a replacement. Many GT students love and thrive in academic competitions with intellectual peers; but it isn’t GT programming. For some of these students who lack a competitive spirit, it isn’t an answer at all.
Mentorships, internships and research projects can enhance GT programming, but not sufficient as standalone options. GT HS students should be engaged in college-level pursuits with adequate supports to ensure success. A transcript of the chat may be found at Storify.
Meeting the Needs of Gifted & Talented Students (Book Depository)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
This week, we welcomed Corin Goodwin, the Executive Director of GHF – Gifted Homeschoolers Forum as our guest to chat about homeschooling gifted students.
For years, homeschooling was considered on the fringe; those who had issues with public schools regarding religion. Gifted homeschooling is based on providing the best personal education possible to meet the unique challenges of gifted students.
Homeschooling is a very personal and individual decision and today’s homeschoolers are a diverse and emergent group. Reasons for homeschooling can include a need for greater challenge than available at traditional schools. Homeschooling allows gifted students to advance through the curriculum at a pace that meets individual needs.
What should parents consider before starting to homeschool? Parents need to make a realistic assessment of the financial resources they’ll need to effectively homeschool. They need to research homeschooling and the time commitment necessary to make it work for their child and the family.
One of the biggest myths that opponents of homeschooling bring up is lack of social opportunities which simply isn’t true. Gifted homeschooled students have many avenues to socialize with intellectual peers both in real life and online.
What are the prospects for homeschoolers when applying for college or transitioning to adult life? Universities once reluctant about homeschoolers now seek out these kids; acknowledge the benefits of homeschooling. Many resources are available to document student records and accomplishments for college admissions. Good planning can make the college admissions process easier and more successful for gifted homeschoolers. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.
Afterthought: This chat prompted quite a few responses (from both those who attended the chat and those who did not) directed at the moderator concerning the feasibility of homeschooling. While most agreed that it would be beneficial for any gifted child to be taught at home one-on-one in a loving and supportive environment, just wanting to make it happen was not always enough to ensure a successful outcome for everyone.
One teacher related experiences of seeing parents losing their jobs because they didn’t have the energy to work and be solely responsible for their child’s education; having their child become disengaged because they didn’t have the time or skills to teach them; and even failed marriages.
Yes, some families will be fortunate to succeed without presupposing all possible outcomes, but it is a personal decision families need to make without outside judgement. Many parents said that although they were happy they decided to homeschool, they felt they would never recover financially. Concerns for other family members and personal feelings of self-worth were also expressed. Others cited the emotional toll it placed on the parent-child relationship.
These are all very real concerns. Parents who simply can’t make it work should not have to endure criticism. Just as every child is different, so is their family’s situation. It is important to make a realistic assessment of your own situation before embarking on homeschooling. In the end, you must decide what you feel is best for you, your child and your family.
Photo courtesy of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum.
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.