Gifted Learners and Technology Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Technology and Gifted Learners

Assistive technology is a huge help for gifted students because it presents more abstract concepts in a more challenging manner. It provides tools for memorization, and evaluation in multidimensional forms so that students are more actively engaged in the learning process. According to the research, "assistive technology for learning (ATL) is defined as the devices, media and services used by students with physical, sensory, cognitive, speech, learning or behavioral disabilities to actively engage in learning and to achieve their individual learning goals" (Alberta Education, 2006). Today, tools have become much more diverse because of advances in technology. This then creates a very diverse and tailored learning environment that teachers can create for the unique needs of gifted students. Thus, "these tools allow students greater independence in learning by customizing applications to maximize learning strengths and to minimize or circumvent specific learning weaknesses" (Bisagno & Haven, 2002). Teachers can target specific strengths and weaknesses and then generate specialized learning outcomes that are possible with assisted technology strategies.

Slide 1: Concept Mapping

It is crucial for students to have tools to help them understand and evaluate abstract concepts in texts and in lesson plans. Concept mapping can help students brainstorm for ideas and deepen their evaluation process of a certain text. This can be done manually, which is a low tech assistive technology. However, it can be strengthened with the use of more innovative technologies as well. For example, "concept mapping software helps students to visually organize and relate abstract concepts" so that they can be prepared to write stronger content (Brennan & Still, 2009). Inspiration Software is an excellent software teachers can use to allow their students to content map both visually and through more traditional writing techniques.

Slide 2: Virtual Museums

Using virtual museum tours online can help expose gifted students to new worlds that may not have been possible given their geographic location and school district budgets. Today, geography no longer serves as a boundary for learning. Thus, "a virtual museum tour is useful because field trips to museums can spark intense student interest and nurture thinking skills, but they are not always geographically feasible" (Mulrine, 2007, p 39). Now, students can go to famous national museums, like the Natural History Museum or the Smithsonian, without ever leaving the classroom. Teachers can access engaging virtual museum tours at sites like Eduscapes Digital and Virtual Museums at http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic35a.htm.

Slide 3: Online learning Games

Moreover, gifted students love to win a challenge. Learning games have long helped assist in studying and understand more difficult concepts. It is a fun way for students to learn. As such, "gifted and talented students enjoy stimulating and challenging activities," and games are a great way to challenge these students in a fun atmosphere (Mulrine, 2007, p 40). Teachers can use sites like Wacky Wordplay at Education World's Online Game Archives (see http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/archives/learninggame.shtml).

Slide 4: Assessment

Not all tools are used by students entirely. In fact, teachers can also benefit from assistive technologies as well. Take for example the concept of rubrics as a method for evaluating student progress. Rubrics help set a standard and can be shared with students to better explain expectations for learning activities. Now, with the help of technology, "teachers can find rubrics online to help assess the…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Alberta Education. (2006). Infusing Assistive Technology for Learning into the IPP Process. Alberta Education Cataloguing in Publication Data. Web. https://education.alberta.ca/media/525549/ipp9.pdf

Bisagno, Joan M. & Haven, Rachael. (2002). Customizing technology solutions for college students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Online. Web. http://www.ldonline.org/article/6257/

Brennan, Liz & Still, Stacy. (2009). Applying Technologies for Effective Instruction. Pearson Higher Education. Web. http://www.pearsonhighered.com/assets/hip/us/hip_us_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0137073984.pdf

McFarlane, Camille. (2011). Gifted students and educational technology. Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments. Web. http://etec.ctlt.ubc.ca/510wiki/Gifted_Students_and_Educational_Technology

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