Purveyors of fake news often rely on making false connections between seemingly related topics. Such is the stuff of conspiracy theories and conjecture. To help our students be more aware of fake news, we should help them understand the tricks of the trade. To help develop your students’ ability to synthesize information, let’s try playing a game, that I am calling 2 Abe Lincolns and 1 Pinocchio.
Creativity has long been a big part of what we do in gifted education. When I was a teacher of the gifted, we spent a fair amount of class time each week devoted to creativity activities. I enjoyed seeing them wrestle with a problem, think deeply, and ultimately come up with interesting solutions. When you ask kids if they are creative, the answer is almost always a resounding YES! However, if you ask a group of adults if they are creative, they are not nearly as willing to say that they are creative. In working teachers, I can not tell you how many times I have heard, “I am just not creative.” It really breaks my heart every time.
For those of us that work in gifted education, you know that it can be a pretty fascinating place with everyday bringing a new adventure. It has long served as the laboratory and testing ground for the latest innovations in pedagogy. Yet, gifted education has had a tendency to operate in relative secrecy and isolation from the rest of education. As a consequence of flying underneath the radar, myths, misconceptions, and misinformation have permeated our field. Meanwhile, those outside of gifted education are left devices to create their own uninformed version of what is happening in our classrooms. It’s time that we open our classroom doors and invite the world inside to see the difference that gifted programs are making in the lives of the students that we serve.
Welcome to October! Pumpkin Season is here, and thanks to Hurricane Florence, I have never been happier to see September go. Wilmington, NC is a fantastic place to live, but the past several weeks have been far less than ideal. Let's take a look ahead at my favorite season of the year and the FALL 2018 TOUR that is upon us!
I have always been fascinated with the Periodic Table of Elements. I mean, what is there not to love about the systematic organization of the very fiber of everything known to exist. It is kind of a beautiful thing to think about. A few years ago in a previous attempt to blog on a regular basis I created a spreadsheet in Google Drive that contained 60 periodic tables of things other than elements. I have been working to substantially update that list. What follows is a collection of 200 Periodic Tables of Almost Everything Except Elements ranging from Academic Disciplines to Yo-Yos!
Critically evaluating information in digital environments can be a complicated process comprised of multiple steps and ways of viewing and thinking about the information. Having almost constant and instant access to vast amounts of information has conditioned us to far too often simply accept the information that is presented as fact without question. Instead, we should retrain ourselves and our students to resist the temptation to believe everything we see. Rather, we must adopt a healthy dose of skepticism and learn to question everything. To better accomplish this I developed a new framework for the book Fighting Fake News! for helping students to become SUPER Critical Thinkers. I call it CAPES.
In this entry of Tech Tool Tuesday, we explore what is probably the ONE tool that I use most frequently and honestly would never want to live without: Google Drive. It has come a long way since it was introduced as Google Docs, and now it does just about everything. Looking for a way to create and share information? Drive does that! Looking for a way to collaborate with others? Yep, Drive does that too! Need a place to store files so that you can retrieve them from any device? You guessed it, Drive has got you covered. Let’s explore FIVE tips and tricks that not everyone seems to know about that I find indispensable.
Happy First Day of School!
Well, for many of you. Some of you have already started and still others have another week of summer left. I spent last week working with teachers in Davenport, Iowa and at the Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy in Charlotte, NC in preparation for the launch of the 2018-2019 school year. With each new school year there is a the promise of a "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow". To kick off this school year, I hope that you will take a moment to set some goals for yourself and your students. Let's look at one of my favorite ways to go about doing this.
In Using The Schoolwide Enrichment Model with Technology, Angela Housand, Joe Renzulli, and I wrote about a way to introduce a lesson by heightening the anticipation of your students using an instructional strategy that you probably learned about at an early age while watching Sesame Street.
I tend to see the world through a lens that have been heavily influenced by Star Wars. As a kid, I remember feeling heartbroken and a little disgusted with Obi-Wan Kenobi as he talked with Luke Skywalker about telling the truth about his father from a certain point of view. Obi-Wan was someone that I had trusted and looked up to, but I was not so sure any more. It was an important life lesson to learn. Now that I am older I realized what Obi-Wan was saying and feel that of all of the wisdom that he shared this is perhaps the most important lesson of all. Learning to examine things from multiple perspectives is a critical skill that we must help our students to learn.