- What is the TP knowledge for the solution? (i.e., how does the technology you have chosen support the teaching strategies and methods you have chosen?) A wiki will help to connect parents at various schools in the district-we have multiple public elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. In addition, we have private schools as well. Short of calling an in person town hall meeting, a wiki (virtual cafe of sorts) would be the next best thing for forming these connections. Promotion of the wiki is also a part of this project as I will have to engage parents through facebook, twitter, etc. Connections are a key part for the gifted child and a support system is key to parenting a gifted child. The wiki will be a bulletin board type solution where parents and kids will be able to go and see what is going on within their local community that will support them.
- What is the TC knowledge for the solution? (i.e., how specifically does this technology make the content in your problem more intellectually accessible? Be sure to think about representation.) Many of the classroom teachers at the schools have a newletter where the teacher communicates specifically with the parents of that class. Additionally our district uses "PowerSchool" as a grade portal for parents to access their child's grades on individual assignments and as a whole in each class. However, since most schools have cut out specific gifted programs, there are not really any ways for gifted kids to be identified or grouped together. Parents don't go to sporting events with buttons that say "My kid is gifted." Having a wiki that a parent or gifted child can become a member of is a little bit like wearing that button-virtually. It is an icebreaker for parents to then share experiences. It is a way for gifted kids to discover new challenging websites full of fun educational activities that they will enjoy. Many of the resources I have posted so far are interactive. It also eliminates parents searching through pages of material online to find something to engage their child.
- What is the PC knowledge for the solution? (i.e., how specifically do your pedagogical choices make the content in your problem more intellectually accessible?) Be sure to think about how the student will experience the content given these instructional strategies. Taking into consideration the level of technology use in our community by both children and parents, a Wiki is a user friendly platform that does not require a high level of technical skills. However, if a person has those skills they can use the resources within the wiki to learn, use and explore higher levels of technical abilities. The resources provided for kids (curriculum, activities, etc.) vary in pedagogical approaches and can be utilized by students and parents at various intellectual levels.
Counseling and Guidance Newsletter
National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 2, 6 and 7
In the above article, Lovecky describes the difficulty for some highly gifted children to develop healthy social relationships with their peers. "The children themselves identified problems with social acceptance and feeling valued for their opinions, difficulties with social skills and dealing with being picked on by age peers (Lovecky 1995). In my Wicked Problem project, I hope to connect gifted children with each other to assist in the sometimes difficult process of gifted children connecting with "like minds". In a virtual relationship, children experience less social pressure than they do in the school group environment to interact with kids that may be of the same age or in the same grade. Often gifted kids have different levels of maturity because of developmental differences. These differences are not necessarily as distinguishable by age.
Square Pegs in Round Holes—These Kids Don't Fit: High Ability Students With Behavioral Problems
Reid, B. D. & McGuire, M. D.
Research has also shown that gifted kids can often be accused of or confused with having behavioral issues. Parents often struggle themselves handling the different emotions a gifted child sometimes focuses on. Having a parent forum to hear other parents going through the same things is comforting and helpful.
Although I have moved along in the design of the wiki I am still struggling with how to promote and implement it.