Archive for the ‘Ideas’ Category

12.03

Texas Leads the Way with #TAGT2011

By Deborah Mersino

What a conference! For those of you who had the privilege of attending the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented Professional Development Conference, Gifted 3.0, I am hoping your time in Austin proved fruitful and inspiring. I certainly feel energized from the buzz created by the impassioned educators, administrators, psychologists, and parents who took part in this forward-thinking conference orchestrated by linchpin leaders, like TAGT’s Past President Michelle Swain, newly installed President Lynette Breedlove, Executive Director JJ Colburn, Associate Director Tracy Weinberg, Marketing & Communications Coordinator David Estlund, the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers!

Whether or not you attended this year, you will want to mark your calendars now for TAGT’s 35th Annual Professional Development Conference in Dallas, scheduled for November 28-30, 2012! It’s sure to be THE conference for visionary learning designed to serve and positively impact GT educators, administrators, parents, advocates, policy makers, psychologists, and students.

For those of you who are becoming cognizant of the rich Professional Development (PD) opportunities inherent in Social Networking year round, I encourage you to “dip that digital toe” (thank you Dr. Lynette Breedlove) into the water and begin exploring Twitter to create your own Personal Learning Network (PLN). If you didn’t attend a session on how to get connected, here is a written How to Tweet Primer, which will help get you started, so you can begin engaging with educators from across the world and even learn how to participate in #gtchat, the weekly chat on Twitter devoted solely to issues of giftedness.

Joel McIntosh, publisher of Prufrock Press, graciously put together a brief Guide to Twitter video prior to the conference. Wherever you live, it is worth checking out too.

I encourage you to continue utilizing the #gtchat hashtag when you are posting resources, questions, and/or thoughts about gifted education in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Additionally, I suggest using TweetChat to search for the LIVE #gtchat stream throughout the week and on Fridays, rather than simply searching for #gtchat in the Twitter Search Box. You can also try HootSuite and/or TweetDeck. See what you like best and determine what feels the most comfortable to you!

The LIVE Twitter feed in the Social Connections area right before #gtchat!

Remember, #gtchat takes place at noon (EST) and 7pm (EST) every Friday, which is 11am (CST) and 6pm (CST). Feel free to lurk and/or participate. Here’s a picture of the swanky Social Connections area at this year’s #TAGT2011, which was made possible by Adventures in Learning. It was packed during the LIVE #gtchat session!

If you have questions (big or small) in the days ahead, feel free to send me an email at deborah@ingeniosus.net. I will do my best to answer your question/s and/or find someone who might be able to assist. I do get hundreds of requests, so please be patient. There’s nothing I enjoy more, though, than helping gifted education advocates connect!

TAGT, the 2010-2011 Lead Global #gtchat Sponsor, and other sponsors, including The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky, the Gifted Development Center in Denver, and the University of Northern Colorado’s Summer Enrichment Program, truly make #gtchat possible. Their support allows me to serve as a connector year round; I cannot thank them enough!

For those of you who signed up to get updates following the conference, I will be sending out the next #gtchat NEWS in the next few weeks. This next issue will include links to gifted education blogs from around the world, links to suggested resources, and more! If you didn’t sign one of my sheets at the conference, feel free to subscribe to #gtchat NEWS by clicking here and looking for the “Subscribe to #gtchat NEWS” section on the lower, right-hand side of the page.

If you have reflections on the conference, favorite 21st Century Learning tools you may have discovered, and/or new inspiration from #TAGT2011, I encourage you to “Leave a Reply” below and/or post to Twitter using #gtchat and #TAGT2011. The learning from this year’s powerful conference can continue, as we all work to serve this critical population with zeal!

Lastly, I want to say again how honored I feel to be among such talented and creative individuals, who care so deeply about the needs of gifted learners. I was touched by the hospitality of Texans and also appreciate those of you from around the world who went out of their way to make new tweeps feel welcome on #gtchat. You’re helping to change the world for gifted learners one tweet at a time!

11.17

Get Ready for the “Your Move” Ingeniosus Awards!

by Deborah Mersino

Giddiness is a state of mind. Right now, I have several endeavors causing me to feel giddy. Among them is a new awards program I’m readying to launch in 2012. The idea for this program came to me a while ago. We even had a #gtchat about various possible aspects of the social responsibility program geared to inspire gifted, talented, and creative students from all over the world to use technology and ideation for social good.

You may remember we tossed around several potential names for the program, including “Seeds for Social Good” and “Technovisionaries.” It wasn’t until today, though, that I decided to move forward. I was reading Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com, Inc. With rapt attention, I devoured chapter after chapter and learned about Hsieh’s various entrepreneurial endeavors and how the name Zappos came to be (means “shoe” in Spanish with an extra “p” to avoid mispronunciation). Something clicked inside me and made me realize the time for this program is now. Since Ingeniosus means “talented and able” in Latin, I realized I already had a name.

The “Your Move” Ingeniosus Awards Program will commence in 2012, and planning is already underway. The global awards program will be housed on the Ingeniosus Web site. Stay tuned for a video announcement in mid-December and the official announcement in January.

This program will combine the best of 21st Century Learning, visionary thinking, entrepreneurial prowess and support, and socially responsible missions. I’m currently lining up judges, mentors, and sponsors for the “Your Move” Ingeniosus Awards Program, and yes, I’m giddy about the prospects.

Here’s to a satisfying year of igniting bright young minds with bursts of inspiration to benefit our collective futures!

09.18

When Ideas Spark

By Deborah Mersino

Be willing to fail. Magic just might happen. When reaching for something grand, failure is always a possibility. That possibility, though, should never derail simmering ideas from having the chance to fully ignite.

Unfortunately, in our society today, people still long for assurances. We want and demand straight lines, correct multiple choice answers, proficient stats, empirical research, and guarantees of success before we dive in, mix it up, get messy, fall down, stand back up, dance around the fire, and create with passion.

We’re afraid of all the things that could go wrong. We forget that bumps are inevitable, dips serve us powerfully, and failure – perhaps even getting burned – is always, always inherent in risk. We forget that if and when we fall down, we may just see situations anew and stumble upon new trajectories. One wrong turn may lead us to novel avenues, fresh thinking. And remarkably, sometimes our first, second, fifteenth or six hundredth try will actually work.

When our children, our students, our colleagues, our teachers, our politicians, our friends and family have an idea, do we immediately respond with, “That sounds fine and dandy, but…” or do we allow the flickering idea to flourish for a bit? Do we throw sand on the embers or add our own sparks of support?

I ask because right now we need idea generators. We need creative solutions. We need risk takers. We need spark plugs. We need you.

So the next time your right brain delights you with an idea, be kind to yourself and nurture the possibilities. All those left-brain, rational considerations will be addressed in due time. The warmth and glow of that initial firestorm, though, will be what gives you the strength and clarity for the long haul. Let’s.all.think.differently.