Your Own Clipping Service for Gifted Education
This is the 117th
blog I have written since its inception. It’s challenging to keep up-to-date on all things gifted and to come up with new ideas. Like everyone else, I need resources to help me achieve this. One of the many resources I use falls under the category of Web feed aggregators
. You may also find these helpful.
Are you a parent of a young child who is gifted? Do you feel isolated in this role and wish you could get regular advice and also hear from other parents of young gifted children?
Are you a teacher who wants to better understand your high-ability students and improve differentiation techniques?
In the not too distant past, high-ranking individuals would hire clipping services to cull the newspapers for articles that might be of interest to a particular industry or geographic area. Now this collection of data is automated through the Internet and can be used by a much wider variety of people. One application is gifted education. Rather than hiring a clipping service or spending a lot of personal time and money buying and going through various news resources, individuals can now subscribe (for free) to Web feed aggregators.
and My Yahoo
are just two examples of aggregators. You can use a search engine to find more possibilities. When you sign on to any of these aggregators, you can add specific Web sites and be notified every they add new content.
Any time you see the letters RSS on a Web site (notice the RSS feeds under Categories in the left column of this Web page), you know that the creaters of the Web site want people to know whenever it is updated. Blogs and forums are great examples of this.
If you go to any aggregator and add Prufrock’s Gifted Child Information Blog or Prufrock’s Gifted Education Blog, you will be notified on your personal page every time either of these blogs is updated.
You can also do a search on a Web feed aggregator for specific words or topics, just as you would on a regular search engine to find and add Web sites to your list.
is another tool that you can use. This is still in the beta stage. I have told the engine that I want to see all articles that are posted on the Internet using words such as Gifted Education
, Gifted Child
, Gifted Student
, etc. I also told the system that I want to be notified every day about new articles that are posted. A list of articles then appears each day in my email inbox. This is probably be overwhelming to most people, but I want to keep on top of all information that has to do with giftedness so that I can keep you informed.
Free University Video Lectures
Click on “Science and Technology” or “Society and Culture” for a list of video lectures.
This site contains all recorded video lectures produced in the Duke University Mathematics Department Multimedia Classroom.
Webcasts of major law school lectures, conferences, panels, debates and special events.
A wide variety of lectures from the many departments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Includes lectures from the Princeton Environmental Institute, Public Lecture Series, the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, and others. Sample titles are “Exploration of the Great Rivers of Africa,” “Escher and the Droste Effect,” and “The Legacy of John Adams.”
Videos include course lectures, readings, and symposiums in a variety of subjects.
Free Learning Resources From Top Universities for the Mac or PC
Want your students to watch a video lecture on electro-magnetism given by one of MIT's most respected scientists? Maybe you would like to encourage your students to explore a photograhy exhibit at the University of Maryland by master photographer David Seymour. Perhaps, you would like to include a lecture from Stanford University on the topic of globalization. Want to encourage a teenager to take a video tour of a farflung college campus?
If so, I've found an exciting, free learning resource for the Mac or PC that you should explore.
Apple has recently launched "iTunes U," a dedicated area within the iTunes Store that features free content such as course lectures, language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights and campus tours provided by top U.S. colleges and universities including Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, Duke University, and MIT. "iTunes U makes it easy for anyone to access amazing educational material from many of the country's most respected colleges and universities," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "Education is a lifelong pursuit and we're pleased to give everyone the ability to download lectures, speeches and other academic content for free."
Created in collaboration with colleges and universities, iTunes U makes it easier to extend learning, explore interests, and learn more about a school. Content from iTunes can be loaded onto an iPod with just one click and experienced on-the-go, anytime, making learning from a lecture just as simple as enjoying music.
Visit Apple's iTunes U introduction and information Web pages to learn more about this exciting learning resource.
Podcasts for Gifted Kids
Want to learn more about polar bears, Thomas Jefferson, space travel, the geography of Nigeria, or hear the latest Presidential speech? Podcasts may be the answer. A podcast is a collection of files that can be found at a specific website address. People can "subscribe" to updated files using a service such as iTunes. (There is no charge for downloading podcasts using iTunes.) When new "episodes" become available in the podcast they will be automatically downloaded to that user’s computer. The user can then listen or watch the file on his computer or portable media player. Podcasts are not viewed in real-time; instead, the material is pre-recorded and users can view or listen to it at their leisure, offline. This might be a great learning and entertainment tool for students to use while traveling this summer.
While you may want to shield your student from many of podcasts that are available, there are many more that are valuable. Here are some positive examples.
The Discovery Channel
NPR (National Public Radio)
NASA Planet Quest
The Education Podcast Network
The San Diego Zoo
The White House
Creating a podcast can also be a creative learning experience. After researching a specific topic or polishing a specific talent, a young person can create a podcast and share it with the world. Your child may enjoy putting together a podcast on places you visit this summer as a trip diary to be shared with others. The student’s podcast can also be viewed by Grandma in Philadelphia and Cousin Emily in San Francisco. All these relatives have to do is turn on their computers.
In school, students find the creation of podcasts much more satisfying than standing in front of the class and giving a report. Samples of student-created podcasts can be heard at The Education Podcast Network and at LearningInHand. The LearningInHand site also guides students in the creation of their own podcasts and even invites them to join the Our City group by creating a podcast telling about their own city.
Technology continues to evolve and provide wonderful possibilities for education. Podcasts are just one tool that can be used to enhance the learning of gifted students.
Gifted Kids Plan for College
Attending college, especially an elite school, is a huge investment of both time and money. Therefore, planning for college should take place long before one’s junior or senior year in high school. You want to make certain that you chose a school that is a good match and that you have done everything necessary to get accepted and to be prepared for the experience. There are aids available to help with this process. Here are a few.
College Planning for Gifted Students: Choosing and Getting Into the Right College
, by Sandra Berger. provides a hands-on, practical guide to college planning. The book’s author focuses on helping gifted students match self-awareness to the right postsecondary experience. She also provides practical advice for writing college application essays, requesting recommendation letters, visiting colleges, and preparing for the college entrance interview.
is published by Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. The magazine is geared toward gifted students in grades 7-12. Each issue is theme oriented and also offers advice on planning for college, student reviews of selective colleges, and profiles of fascinating careers. By reading the college reviews, students get a sense whether their particular intellectual and social styles will be a good match with each school. Many of the career profiles go way beyond the traditional careers one has come to expect (i.e., SeaWorld veterinarian, forensic paleontologist, and medical anthropologist).
is an advanced search engine sponsored by The Princeton Review. It combines your academic and extracurricular history with your preferences to help you find the right college.
If you want to have the greatest number of opportunities for your post-secondary education, you should start learning as much as possible about the process by grade 7.
Challenging Gifted Readers
Do you have a child who is an excellent reader, but is not picking up books on her own? Do you wish you had a way to help your student choose books that will enrich his life? Do you want to give a gift of a book to a precocious reader, but don’t know where to start?
In many districts, school librarians no longer exist. In efforts to cut costs, aids with little training often replace these import figures in student education. Yet librarians, parents, and teachers are so important in guiding precocious readers to appropriate choices. In order to maintain interest in reading, students often need help in finding books that inspire them.
Rita Soltan advises other librarians how to advise gifted readers in her article titled Precocious Readers
. She recommends that first librarians find out areas of interest to the young person. Next, those interests should be matched to books that contain at least some of the following criteria:
Language that is rich, varied, precise, complex and exciting
A story that is open-ended and inspires contemplative behavior
A book that will leave the reader with as many questions as answers
Fiction complex enough to allow interpretive and evaluative behavior
Non-fiction that helps a student build problem-solving skills and develop methods of productive thinking
Characters that are portrayed as intelligent, talented, resourceful, and/or inventive
In Challenging Gifted Readers
, Patricia Austin discusses reading elements that challenge strong readers, including language, structure, perspective or point of view, ambiguous endings, and content. Reading well-written books about professional role models is also important, especially if the books enable readers to view the work of a scientist, historian, activist, or other contributor to society. In addition, books with gifted protagonists help bright readers better see their own lives, struggles, and feelings mirrored in the characters. While gifted readers may not naturally gravitate towards these books, adults can certainly steer them in that direction. Austin goes on to elaborate on each of these elements and also provides an annotated bibliography of suggested books. Suggested grade levels are provided.
- What can you tell me about your reading?
- What did you think was easy to do and hard to do?
- What changes would you want to make?
- What is the most important thing you learned from this?
- What do you do when you are reading and you find a word you do not know?
- When might it be a good idea to reread something?
- Why do you think that is so?
- How did the author cause you to infer/conclude that?
- What evidence can you use to support that?
- If you did not know, what would you do to get the most information?