I would describe my learning in the course so far as collaborative. The vast majority of my learning has taken place with or because of other people in the course. My group members have obviously been the most influential on my learning because we have been working on a large project together. We have had to bounce ideas off of each other and come to a consensus on what should be written, where, and why. I have learned a lot from them because I have never worked specifically with gifted students. I have a few AP students who are usually gifted, but not always. I do teach some advanced programming courses. In my mind the students who can successfully complete my programming courses are gifted at programming, even if they aren’t necessarily considered “gifted” by their home schools. Some students can be very good at one subject but not so good at the others. I have learned to take each student’s strengths and foster them, no matter what they are. I look forward to learning more about how to reach these students in the coming weeks.
How has your learning been meaningful and impactful either professionally or personally?
I have really enjoyed reading all of the scholarly articles that I’ve had to read for this course. I had to read a couple dozen articles at least for our literature review, and that was after finding decent articles in the first place. I actually haven’t ever studied how technology can impact gifted students so this whole idea is new to me. I have really had my eyes opened by my group members to the possibility of having a deeper impact on my gifted students. Anytime I’ve dealt with technology and reaching students who are otherwise unreachable, it has always been about trying to engage those students who usually are behind and tuned out. My favorite part of these articles was reading about distance learning, since I teach online. There was one article called Distance Learning for Gifted Students: Outcomes for Elementary, Middle, and High School Aged Students by Patricia Wallace. This article went through the importance of distance learning opportunities for many students, especially those in rural areas. Distance learning provides students with opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have. This means that gifted students who have exhausted the available courses in their home schools can move into a distance learning setting and continue their learning. Without this opportunity, a gifted student’s ambition could be diminished and they could turn to other activities. It is important to enable gifted students to continue to learn and bring that passion for learning back to their home schools. This article really made me feel like the work that I’m doing in distance learning is important for all students but especially the gifted students that I have. I mostly teach electives so it is important for me to realize that my courses are often viewed as extra or enrichment courses. I know that my courses are often the reward for students doing well in other courses.