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Technology and the Gifted Child

"For gifted children, there will be information available on almost any interest they have -- anything from sites such as NASA for those interested in Astronomy to sites on literature, geology, history, and Star Trek. Also many of these sites offer more than one-way information. Most WWW authors cheerfully respond to email queries from their pages and will provide specific information requested. Next time you or your child has one of those questions which you can't find an answer, someone on the Internet probably can and will if you ask them." The Internet and Gifted and Talented Children by Gayle Dallaston

Articles and research links first, or click for the Technology itself, below... Visit Gifted Kids as Digital Citizens for more!

Screen Time = Scream Time Recommended by Julie F. Skolnick in With Understanding Comes Calm
It’s impossible to turn off all electronics in this world. For one thing, schools are relying more and more on online opportunities for homework, grades, shared documents and even social media. Don’t get me started. But it’s really important to point out to our kids the importance of well roundedness and to help them develop the skill, yes the skill, to interact with others looking them in the face. As with most things there is a sweet spot, a balance to avoid being a hermit and simultaneously avoid becoming a junkie. People always ask me “but what do they DO in the car?” They listen to music. They think. They look out the window. They say “I’m bored.” They sing. They ask “Are we there yet?” They come up with funny ideas or new games we can play together in the car. My goal is that they have fun inside their own heads and recognize the quiet interior of their minds as a peaceful and relaxing place.

A few tried and true rules toward balance...
Teaching Kids to be Their Own Internet Filters Recommended by Katrina Schwartz in MindShift
Students live in an information-saturated world. Rather than shielding them from the digital world, many agree the most effective way to keep them safe and using the internet responsibly as a learning tool is to teach them how to be their own filters. That’s not only a life skill, but one that’s important when researching. Older kids, especially, have the capacity to learn how to decide which online sources can be trusted and why. “If we are not teaching the kids to use the web as a vehicle for enhancing learning and teaching them to be the filter, that’s a dereliction of duty.”
High-Tech Teaching Success! A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Innovative Technology in Your Classroom Recommended edited by Kevin D. Besnoy and Lane W. Clarke (or from Amazon)
Gives classroom teachers advice from technology education experts on how the latest tools and software can be implemented into lesson plans to create differentiated, exciting curriculum for all learners.  Focused on implementing technology in the four core areas of learning — math, science, language arts, and social studies...
Did You Know 3.0 by Karl Fisch on YouTube
"The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004. We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't exist yet, using technologies that haven't been invented yet, in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet. 1 out of 8 couples married in the US in 2011 met online...  Did you know?  Also watch the original Shift Happens: Did You Know? by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod, Did You Know 2.0, and an updated Shift Happens 2008 by a Sony executive (less education, more technology-based)
Digital Nation, Life on the Virtual Frontier PBS FRONTLINE, video
Continuing a line of investigation started in the 2008 FRONTLINE report Growing Up Online, embark on a journey to understand the implications of living in a world consumed by technology and the impact that this constant connectivity may have on future generations. "I'm amazed at the things my kids are able to do online, but I'm also a little bit panicked when I realize that no one seems to know where all this technology is taking us, or its long-term effects..."
Getting an Academic Life in Second Life transcript of a live chat with Merrill L. Johnson, associate dean of the University of New Orleans's College of Liberal Arts, in The Chronicle of Higher Education
Colleges around the world are opening virtual campuses in Second Life, a three-dimensional, colorful environment that can be accessed via a computer. One of those campuses is New Orleans Island, which was built by Merrill L. Johnson, an administrator at the University of New Orleans. What is the appeal of Second Life, and what kind of classes does the university hold there? Is Second Life a useful distance-education platform or just frivolous entertainment?
Gifted Education and Twitter: How Social Networking Can Propel Advocacy & Learning by Deborah Mersino, author of Ingeniousus blog, also found @DeborahMersino on Twitter
If you’re a proponent of gifted and talented (GT) education, a parent interested in gifted issues, a teacher who believes in visionary methods, a charter school enthusiast, education reformist, private gifted school administrator, GT association board member and/or a university professor offering a summer program for gifted students, please accept my warm welcome! You are about to enter a post on the twitosphere... 
For a list of Facebook and Twitter personas in gifted, read Social Networking - Impacting the World of Gifted Education Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Handheld Technology in the Classroom: Respecting and Meeting the Needs of All Writers by Cathy Risberg, in 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter
By honoring our children’s learning preferences, we can offer them the writing options that will help them succeed. In allowing students to choose handheld technology as a tool, we will truly respect and meet their needs as learners and empower them as writers...
Helping Kids Get Organized: Some Suggestions for Parents by Ellen D. Fiedler
Bright kids often are “organizationally-challenged.” In fact, the brighter they are, the more likely it is that they will have issues with organization (or, more likely, the grown-ups in their lives will have concerns about their not being organized). Among the reasons for this are: a) they have good memories and, for awhile anyway, are able to rely on remembering where they saw something last,...  Some strategies that may work are... (requires Adobe Reader)
La Vida Robot by Joshua Davis, in Wired
Cameron hadn't expected many students to be interested, particularly not a kid like Lorenzo, who was failing most of his classes and perpetually looked like he was about to fall asleep. But Lorenzo didn't have much else to do after school. He didn't want to walk around the streets. He had tried that - he'd been a member of WBP 8th Street, a westside gang. When his friends started to get arrested for theft, he dropped out. He didn't want to go to jail.  That's why he decided to come to Cameron's meeting...
Learning in the 21st Century: How to Connect, Collaborate, and Create by Ben Curran and Neil Wetherbee (or from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum)
The world has transformed on an epic scale, but education has barely budged. How can you incorporate all the creativity technology has to offer into your learning experiences, even if your technological abilities are limited? How can online tools help students, especially gifted and twice-exceptional students, connect with others from around the block or around the world to collaborate on projects? Ben and Neil of Engaging Educators offer step-by-step instructions to get you started using technology in your learning experiences. Discover new online tools geared toward collaborating and creating. Try out projects specifically designed with these tools in mind. Create a positive and interesting online portfolio to share with college recruiters and potential employers. Regardless of educational choice...
Learning without limits: How the rise of online instruction is changing the nature of schooling by Christine Van Dusen, in eSchool News
Zach Bonner is a smart kid, but he's a bit confused to hear that some adults still assume students in online schools are somehow worse off and spend all day chained to a computer, never learning to socialize in the real world.  Though he may be a full-time Florida fifth-grader whose classwork is completed in his family's Valrico kitchen, less than a quarter of his time is spent in front of a computer screen. More often Zach is doing science experiments, taking field trips, bike-riding with friends from his neighborhood, reading...
The merging of literacy and technology in the 21st century: a bonus for gifted education by Del Siegle, in Gifted Child Today ($)
Lists literacy skills related to technology, describes educational activities that promote these skills, and discusses how those activities fit gifted and talented students...
Music maestro: some of the best software begins with a blank screen by Del Siegle, in Gifted Child Today ($)
What makes an empty container so attractive? Creative possibilities. Parents and educators can learn from the lesson of children at play with empty boxes when selecting software. While a myriad of quality educational software programs exist, some of the best programs resemble an empty box...
Personal Computers Help Gifted Students Work Smart (ERIC Digest #483) by Geoffrey Jones
Gifted students are benefiting from increased use of computers because their special needs are being met through informed use of technology
Six uses of the Internet to develop students' gifts and talents by Del Siegle, in Gifted Child Today ($)
Based on the four cornerstones of differentiation (process, product, content, and learning environment), modifications to meet gifted and talented students' educational needs can easily be made with the Internet. A higher level of sophistication and a wider variety of processes are available to gifted and talented students to gather and analyze information...
Some Children Under Some Conditions: TV and the High Potential Kid by Robert Abelman, Cleveland State University
The catastrophic impact of television on youth, as depicted in the popular press, is equally fictitious. After all, being intellectually gifted places children in both advantageous and detrimental positions in terms of how TV is used, for what reasons, and to what effect. For some children, under some conditions, some television is harmful. For other children under the same conditions, or for the same children under other conditions, it may be beneficial. There is little doubt, however, that for nearly all children television has created a fundamental change in daily life... (requires Adobe Reader)
Stand by to roll... (producing a video newsmagazine) by Dianne Prager and Cathy Alderman, in Gifted Child Today ($)
Increased use of technology-supported instruction has a number of positive results: Students perceive that their work is authentic and important; they deal more successfully with complexity; motivation and self-esteem are enhanced; and collaboration between students and teachers surges...
Strategies for the Tech-Savvy Classroom by Diane Witt (grades 4-8) (or from Prufrock from Amazon)
Each volume contains 24 stories that encourage divergent thinking to explain.  Students ask yes/no questions, and attempt to figure out the "twist" that explains everything... (Ten volumes in the set)
Technology and the unseen world of gifted students by Tracy Cross, in Gifted Child Today ($)
The social and emotional development of gifted students can be influenced by many factors.  Under the heading of experiences is students' use of computers.  This column will highlight some of the most common and some of the least well-known uses of computers by gifted students...
Technology empowers differentiated instruction by , eSchool News
"Above all, DI [Differentiated Instruction] should be used to promote 21st-century skills, [including] digital-age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication, and high productivity. A mastery of these skills will lead to student achievement."  Technology is a great choice to consider for DI, because it helps to personalize instruction, enhances learning with multimedia components, can help students construct new knowledge, and motivates students with their work...
Technology: Less Input and More "Innerput" by
Do you have too much input and not enough "innerput?" Information is only a tool; it's value lies in how we use it. And information has limited value, either as input or output, without innerput.  Only then can it morph from simple data to knowledge and wisdom.  And that only comes when there is time for innerput; stopping in the middle of this flood of information to think about, wrestle with, challenge, and build on the information...
Technology Trend: Responsible Social Networking for Teens on CYFERnet
Internet users are moving from mere consumers of information to producers as well. Youth are among the first to adopt new technologies, and one of the most popular online activities is social networking. Teaching good online practices is part of parenting the online child. They may know more about technology, but you know more about life. Resources and advice...

AlphaSmart Recommended
Keyboard (nearly indestructible) for kids' use in school and at home.  It's light, simple, and connects easily to home or school PCs or printers.  Comes in several versions, Neo (which runs additional software, including Neo version of Inspiration) and Dana (which runs Palm OS and other palm-based accessory programs including a Palm version of Inspiration, and has wireless capability)
Dragon Naturally Speaking Wireless Premium 12.0 Recommended or Home version, by Nuance Communications
Provides a whole new way to interact with a PC--using speech instead of a keyboard and mouse--to help you work faster and more efficiently...
LiveScribe Smartpen Recommended
Records audio and links it what you write. Missed something? Tap on your notes or drawings with the tip of your Pulse smartpen to hear what was said while you were writing.  No Need to Lug the Laptop. 
Inspiration (also from Amazon.com) and Kidspiration (also from Amazon.com)
Powered by techniques of visual learning, software strengthens critical thinking, comprehension and writing across the curriculum, in language arts, science, social studies and anytime your students need to structure research or other thought processes; or Kidspiration for grade K-5
MacKichan (or from Amazon)
Mathematical word processing, with LaTeX typesetting.  Full computer algebra capabilities using natural mathematical notation, so it's easy to use.  Compute symbolically or numerically, integrate, differentiate, and solve algebraic and differential equations.  Great for dysgraphic kids, to type their advanced mathematics.  Student usage and free trial versions available...
Brings the problem solving power of expert mathematicians to your computer. Student Edition available...
Open Book
Software, converts printed documents or graphic based text into an electronic text format using accurate optical character recognition and quality speech
The Writer with Word Prediction Recommended
Wireless keyboard, PC and Mac compatible, with dictionary, spell-checker, optional Word Prediction, and more!  And less expensive than the Alphasmart...

Last updated December 01, 2020

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