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Virtual Zoo - Summer 08
Examples of Software Tools
The Gifted Kids Network
The Gifted Kids Network is a web based supplemental gifted and talented programming model that includes accelerated or advanced content and affective programming. Enrolled students from schools and districts throughout the United States are able to come together in a private secure online environment to engage in high level content with other gifted peers. Gifted Kids Network utilizes technologies such as wikis, blogs, social bookmarking, collaborative documents, podcasting and video or photo sharing to create a virtual gifted program that is collaborative, connected, and social.
is designed to be a supplemenal enrichment program for students who are highly motivated to learn and self directed. Students are grouped into multiage clusters in areas of interest. Students select their enrichment cluster based upon their interests and strengths and participate in the enrichment program using Web 2.0 technologies including blogs, wikis, telementoring, videoconferencing, podcasting, social bookmarking, collaborative documents and discussion boards. Enrichment 2.0 clusters are facilitated by a teacher or qualified adult facilitator. In addition, mentors are selected to support and enrich student learning in specific content areas. All work in an Enrichment 2.0 cluster is focused on the development of a product or service in the area of exploration. The students in the clusters work together to determine what they want to learn, what tools professionals in this field use to study their topics, and then begin collecting resources (both media and personnel) to help them study their topic. Early in the process, students also identify what products or services people in this field produce. The goal of each enrichment cluster is to produce a product or service that is appropriate to the field that the students are studying and to present that product or service to a real audience. This model provides an authentic, constructivist based, online learning opportunity for gifted and talented students.
The Accelerated Learning Unit
provides above grade level content to gifted and talented students through collaborative, contextual, online learning. Accelerated Learning is a standards based model focusing on interdisciplinary units related to above grade level standards and benchmarks. This model allows gifted and talented (GT) students to collaborate with other GT students throughout a school district in areas of strength.
is designed to support the affective needs and growth of gifted and talented students. The lounge provides students an opportunity to socialize with other gifted students. The socialization includes informal discussions about topics of the student’s choice including music, sports, hobbies, and life in rural communities. The lounge acts as a cafeteria or playground for students to relax and get to know each other.
In addition, formal discussion groups will address common concerns of gifted and talented students including: multipotentiality, perfectionism, asynchrony, peer relations, excessive self criticism, and career planning. The discussion groups are directed by adult facilitators with training in the social and emotional needs of gifted students.
Benefits of GKN
Collaborative—students work with intellectual peers
Connected—students connect with students from other schools, states, countries.
Technological—students utilize 21st century tools and develop technological literacy
High Interest—students interact with media rich advanced content
SOCIAL, AUTHENTIC, ADVANCED LEARNING FOR GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS
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