Blog Archives

Benefits of Online Learning for Gifted/2e

Our guest this week was Madeline Goodwin, of Exceeds Expectations Learning – 2EL. Our chat centered on the benefits of online learning for gifted and 2e (twice-exceptional) students.

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.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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:


Distance Learning Programs

Distance Education: Where It Started and Where It Stands for Gifted Children and Their Educators (pdf)

Online learning: A Smart Way to Nurture Gifted Kids

For Frustrated Gifted Kids, A World of Online Opportunities

Virtual Schools and Online Learning for K-12 Students is not a Trend or a Fad

Serving Gifted Learners Beyond the Traditional Classroom: A Guide to Alternative Programs and Services (Prufrock)

Online Learning for Gifted Students: An Idea Whose Time has Come

Is Your Gifted Child Ready for Online Learning?

Meeting the Challenges of Working with Gifted Students (pdf)

Distance Learning for Gifted Students: Outcomes for Elementary, Middle, and High School Aged Students (pdf)

Beyond the Classroom Walls: Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives on How Online Learning Can Meet the Needs of Gifted Students (pdf)

“Just What I Need”: Gifted Students’ Perceptions of One Online Learning System (pdf)

Examining the Effectiveness of Using Web-based Learning for Gifted Students: Jordan as Case Study

Science, Creativity and the Real World: Lessons Learned from the U.S. Homeschool Community

Cybraryman’s Blended Learning Page

Cybraryman’s Google Hangout Page

Cybraryman’s Skype Page

Cybraryman’s MOOC Page

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Madeline Goodwin and graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Radical Acceleration and Early College Entrance

AccelerationRadical Acceleration*

Talk about a hot topic! This week’s chat was already in full swing before the moderator even arrived! Radical Acceleration and Early College Entrance elicited strong emotions from both teachers and parents. This week’s guest, Madeline Goodwin (see blog post below) was quite articulate in her portrayal of experiences she had in college … beginning at the age of 13. Now a recent grad, Madeline has her sights set on graduate school in the fall.

Madeline was joined at the chat by her mother, Corin Barsily Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, to share the experience from a parent’s point of view. Many of her comments help put concerns of other parents in perspective and were well received by those at the chat. A full transcript may be found here.

GHF logoGifted Homeschoolers Forum

We learned that Madeline was entirely homeschooled prior to entering college. This allowed her to progress at her own speed without concern from schools about her social development. It also made it easier to access and connect with experts in areas of study in which she was interested. It afforded her the opportunity to associate with people on her intellectual level who had shared interests.

What curriculum did the Goodwin’s use to homeschool? Corin summed it up with this comment,

“We were pretty eclectic. I brought out the workbooks and I faced a mutiny, so we did other stuff. Like visiting 56 National Parks!”

lake-340375_640Yosemite National Park*

It was interesting to note that college wasn’t smooth sailing all the time; but not for the reasons one might expect. Even at the collegiate level, Madeline did not always feel challenged. At times, her young age made it difficult to socialize with older students and of course … she couldn’t even drive yet!

Regrets? None so far according to Madeline. “Academically, college was exactly what I needed, no regrets. Learned a lot, including about work ethic & study habits. College had clubs that I joined and I went to an alternative prom earlier this year!” She credited her family for helping to make the experience a positive one, ” Definitely had lots of support,guidance, and scaffolding from my mother, and patience from my brother who got dragged along!

In the final analysis, it was agreed that the decision to accelerate is a very personal one that needs to be made by the student in consultation with their parents.  It certainly is not for everyone; but it was the right one for Madeline!


gtchat thumbnail logoGlobal #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT 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 Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered byTAGT 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:


Livebinder from Leslie Graves

Academic Acceleration at Hoagies Gifted Education Page

Madeline Goodwin’s Bio

Madeline Goodwin: A Homeschooling Success Story

Large-scale Action Needed to Fight Climate Change

Climate Change Linked to Lifestyle Choices, Faith

Radical Acceleration and Early Entry to College: A Review of the Research

Radical Acceleration of Highly Gifted Children (pdf)

A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students Vol. 2 (pdf)

Nation Deceived

Lived Experience of Highly Gifted Adolescent Girls in a Radically Accelerated High School Program (pdf)

All Rivers Lead to the Sea: A Follow-up Study of Gifted Young Adults (pdf)

College @ 13 Young, Gifted, and Purposeful” from Great Potential Press

I Need a Place Where I Belong: The Highly Gifted Child (pdf)

Out-of-level Achievement: Case for Acceleration in New Zealand Secondary Schools (pdf)

Academic Acceleration: A Policy Advocacy Document

Cal State Early Entrance Program

Even Gifted Students Can’t Keep Up in Math & Science, The Best Fend for Themselves

AUS: Policy & Implementation Strategies for Education of GT Students Acceleration Support Package (pdf)

Radical Possibilities for the Profoundly Gifted

Early Entrance to College as an Option for Highly Gifted Adolescents (Amazon)

Acceleration and Early College Resources for Gifted Children

Cybraryman’s Genius Hour Page

* Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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