This week at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT we chatted about the need for gifted students to become not only good digital citizens, but digital leaders as well. We first discussed what digital literacy is and why it’s important.
Digital literacy involves a firm grasp on technology vocabulary, comprehending the impact of online collaboration, understanding the how to use cloud-based storage, and acknowledging the moral consequences of one’s actions. GT students must develop specific skill-sets based on authentic learning opportunities including creation of collaborative engagement involving discussion built on credible arguments, negating others’ opinions & effective presentations (Coiro, 2016.) It’s important to not assume a new generation – digital natives – are automatically highly qualified digital citizens; they require guidance too.
Students are encountering new technologies and choices at breakneck speeds; developing a moral construct is essential to providing them with a safe and responsible online presence. Educating students about the consequences of online behavior must start early. They must learn about the instantaneous nature of their actions; their right to privacy and how to protect it; and the far reaching effects of cyberbullying.
GT students are poised to use social media to their benefit by exploiting the positive aspects of its use – connecting classrooms, fostering cross-cultural interactions, and choosing it for advocating positive change in the world. They can benefit from social media via online mentorships, connecting with professionals in their chosen fields, and promoting critical thinking among intellectual peers.
Teachers should model digital etiquette from the very beginning of student interaction. Goals vertically aligned across the curriculum involving digital citizenship can increase learning and provide students with an enhanced online presence. Strategies for teaching digital citizenship include a robust curriculum, including student voice in developing acceptable use policies, and impressing on students that what they do and say online is forever. Additional strategies include making sure students know their rights online, providing guidance for online behavior, and including parents in the learning process; especially relating to new technologies.
GT students need to be digital producers; not just consumers. Digital leaders are those who integrate technology to make life better for all through facilitating communication and by being transformative change agents. As digital leaders, GT students are those who value collaboration, understand how to integrate technology into their lives to increase positive outcomes, and embrace change to harness the future. Those who become digital leaders are flexible in their thinking, adept at problem solving, and analytical in their approach to global problems.
Why should schools involve parents in teaching digital citizenship? Digital citizenship goes far beyond the classroom walls. It is an integral part of life and as such must be addressed at home as well as at school. Parents should be encouraged to be a part of the education process. Schools can involve parents in teaching digital citizenship by informing them about new technologies, online trends, and the latest social media. This can be done through parent-teacher communications or even workshops. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.
Digital Citizenship (Google Slides)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
Student ownership of learning is when a student becomes invested in his own learning; the realization that learning is of personal value to oneself. A student’s active involvement in their own education resulting from a desire to learn connotes student ownership of learning. At the beginning of the new year, #gtchat began the discussion of what it looks like for gifted students to own their learning.
Gifted students may or may not be motivated to take ownership of their own learning contrary to popular belief. If their strengths are not academic, they may have little interest in school. Motivation to take ownership of their learning may require educators to allow #stuvoice and choice; Socratic instruction; self-reflection; less dependence on planned lessons; less testing, more requests for feedback.
One of the best examples of students owning their learning can be found in Project-based Learning – learning proposed, directed and executed by the student. A personalized approach to PBL is especially appealing to gifted students. Another example of student owned learning is the creation of digital portfolios which can showcase their work. Portfolios may take the form of blogs, videos, or displaying art/music projects. Students can take ownership of their learning by building presentation skills either something as simple as PP to participating in a performance-based environment such as a recital.
How does technology impact student ownership of learning? Technology must enhance authentic learning; not just replication of learning. Gifted students may find building a computer or robot much more valuable than simply sitting and staring at a computer screen. It can play a vital role in the ownership of learning when used as a problem-solving tool rather than ‘the’ answer. Objectives and goals need to be personalized via technology. It enhances how students collect and share information. Technology can provide a sense of community with like-minded, intellectual peers who can work together; an oft-missed opportunity for gifted students in the past.
Virtually all work does not become valuable until it is presented/showcased. Students need to learn how to best present their ideas and projects in a meaningful way. This is a precursor for professional success in life as an adult. By learning presentation skills, it takes their learning to another level – kicks it up a notch! It also hopefully provides an authentic audience for their work. This in turn amplifies their motivation factor.
Changes need to be made to curriculum and instruction to ensure students have the skills to succeed. Instruction needs to evolve into facilitation. Meaningful learning and ownership of that learning will be enhanced by teacher led deep-level, thought provoking questioning and then thoughtful listening to provide feedback. Students should be provided with an environment that encourages imagination, student choice, freedom and time to explore interests, and finally a way to showcase their learning. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.
As we enter the 7th year of #gtchat, we would like to acknowledge those people behind the scene who make it all possible!
Thank you to the TAGT staff ~
And to our Advisory Board ~
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 2 PM 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 Storify. 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.
New Experiments in Self-Teaching (TEDTalks 17:25)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad
The Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners was recently released by Free Spirit Publishing and we were excited to have the author, Deb Douglas, as our guest this week on #gtchat. It proved to be a much needed topic and drew many new participants to the chat.
One of the greatest impediments to self-advocacy for gifted learners are the adults who become over-involved. Far too often, parents and teachers are so used to advocating when kids are young; they don’t know when to stop.
Self-advocacy is a part of growing up. A key benefit of teaching gifted learners to self-advocate is that it has a profound effect on a student’s later success. Gifted people in general use self-advocacy techniques throughout their lives; but they must learn them first.
Like all students, gifted learners’ educational experiences should ensure continual growth in academics and socially. They should be taught to advocate for experiences they truly want and will use.
What should students consider when self-assessing their own needs prior to self-advocacy? Self-assessment needs to start early and develop into a continual process throughout their time in school. It should be combined with determining personal goals and how to meet them.
Parents play an important role in helping students become successful self-advocates. Parents are their child’s first role model. They should be consistent, positive, and empathetic to child’s needs. Students will find success as self-advocates when parents learn to allow their child to take the lead when ready.
Students should first create an Action Plan. They go hand in hand with setting goals and deciding how they will be reached. Action plans should list necessary steps and a realistic timeline to reach goals. A transcript of this chat may be found at our Storify page.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays 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 Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About Deb Douglas (Free Spirit Publishing)
GT Carpe Diem (Facebook)
Letting Go While Holding On and Changing BLAH to AHHHHH! (pdf) Courtesy of NAGC
Stepping Back from Overparenting: A Stanford Dean’s Perspective (Podcast 21:46)
Title graphic courtesy of Lisa Conard.
Photo and all other graphics courtesy of Deb Douglas.