Nourishing Gifted Through Technology in Any Classroom
Melissa Henning and Candace Hackett Shively
These pages originally developed in support of a presentation by the same name at the ISTE conference in Atlanta, 2014, updated and refreshed in 2018.
Working with gifted students can be the most exciting and the most challenging teaching you ever do. When you close your eyes, you see theirs: the darting, oft disinterested eyes of your gifted students amid dozens of diverse learners. With so many eyes and so many needs, how can you possibly address these students who surely SHOULD soar on their own? (That is a myth, by the way.)
Whether or not you agree with how they are identified and labeled, the gifted do exist, and they have different learning needs. They are neither better nor perfect. They simply see the world differently and require different strategies. Their behavior can lead to teacher annoyance, but with the right strategies, their accomplishments and insights may lead to positive connections for all in your classroom, including you.
Thanks to the multitude of tools, resources, and connections available via technology, your gifted students can work with differentiated academic content, leverage technology to foster their creativity, join in digital collaborations to extend the curriculum through individual interests, and even establish digital “me-portfolios.” Many of the strategies you use with them could also work with your other students, but at a different pace and depth. These pages offer resources, tools, and tips to nourish the needs of gifted, along with sanity savers to organize your multitasking class and your oftentimes “scattered” gifted learners.