Posts Tagged ‘social’


10 Ways Social Media and the Web Are Moving Gifted Education Forward

By Deborah Mersino

Amid early adopters, platform loyalists, time and budget constraints, enthusiasm, privacy concerns, real-time collaboration, media hype, avoidance, and resource-sharing, it’s clear that social media is not only alive and well and impacting the world of gifted education, but it is also truly shifting mindsets and creating opportunities.

Here are 10 ways social media and the Web are catapulting the gifted education movement forward. Some of these developments have been around for a while now; others depict social media’s current and future evolution relative to gifted, talented, and creative learners – and those who serve them. Thank you to those who have helped crowdsource many of these points.

Should you have additional ideas to offer, please “Leave a Reply” so others can benefit. If you’re a parent, educator or organizational leader who is just getting started online, welcome! I’m hoping this post inspires you to delve in further. As always, feel free to contact me with your questions and/or consulting needs. Here we go!

1. Down come the walls

Scholars, gifted education specialists, classroom teachers, administrators, parents, counselors, authors, and advocates are communicating outside of their long-standing silos, which is igniting newfound learning and compelling action.

2. Up comes the engagement and true collaboration

Like never before, you will find parents helping parents, teachers supporting parents, parents enlightening teachers, psychiatrists answering parents’ questions, authors asking for input on new books, journalists finding sources, and teachers sharing ideas online with verve.

3. Read all about it

Access to scholarly articles, resources, videos, podcasts, blogs, and news about the gifted movement is allowing more immediate response and action, especially relative to advocacy.

4. Options galore

Whether searching for homeschooling resources and/or garnering assistance with a passion or specific subject area, open-source and distance learning opportunities continue to give gifted, talented, and creative learners more opportunities to learn 24/7 – often in collaboration with other learners throughout the world.

5. Dialogue develops

Real-time chats, like #gtchat on Twitter, continue to boost understanding among varied audiences and remind us all that gifted learners and those who parent and serve them need and deserve ongoing support. Gifted organizations can – and should – begin planning now for virtual conferences to reach broader audiences cost-effectively and efficiently. And while online discussion platforms have served powerfully for years, we’ll continue to see significant growth in this area and other online parent forums in the years ahead.

6. Facebook groups and Google+ Circles provide ideal platforms

Everyday, these tools allow for audiences to witness and participate in Q&A sessions, professional development, and curricula sharing across the globe.

7. Images create momentum and memories

YouTube, Flickr, video blogs, Skype, and Google+ Hangouts are bringing the power and benefits of gifted education and peer interaction to life.

8. Community comes home

Whether a parent or teacher is looking to connect with others about issues of twice-exceptional students, dual-college enrollment, camps for profoundly gifted learners, and/or students in rural areas, today’s social media platforms are making finding one’s tribe not only possible, but also convenient and rewarding.

9. New Zealand informs New York and vice versa

No longer bound by geography, gifted educators, parents, policy makers and advocates are sharing knowledge, resources, and insights globally.

10. Socratic Seminars in Google+ Circles

We’re just at the beginning of transformative learning. Educators at universities and high schools are already seeing the power of shared learning through social media tools. Group projects and real-time dialogue between professors and students, mentors and students, and learners from different countries will continue to ignite ideation and solutions. Here’s just one of hundreds of examples of an organization recognizing the need to “get it” soon: Stanford University GSB Seeking Social Media & Email Marketing Manager, Marketing & Communications.

No Limits

What impresses me most is the intense commitment shown by teachers who are creating, sharing, and applying the latest social media tools and apps to their curriculum. Parents and students are just now seeing the seeds of true engagement. And we haven’t even scratched the surface yet.

As more private gifted schools, gifted nonprofits, publishers, and psychiatrists adjust their views of social media, they will stop “marketing” to target audiences and begin engaging them. They will cross the aisle to communicate with other fields. They will tap advertising and online sponsorship options instead of simply signing up to be a vendor at a traditional, in-person conference or expecting others to manually visit their Web site without interaction. Those who don’t may soon find themselves struggling, wondering why conference attendance rates, revenues, and donations are down, and/or finally realizing they’re becoming obsolete despite long-standing leadership in the past.

It can be hard sometimes to fully comprehend the complexities inherent in the intersection of social media, education, and marketing. Leaders who see behind the predominant myths and embrace the possibilities truly will be the ones shaping the future. Here’s to all of you who are open to seeing these new realities!


The Power of a PLN for Educators of Gifted Learners

Ingeniosus Booth at CAGT 2010

I had the privilege of meeting nearly a hundred educators of high-ability learners at the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented (CAGT) Conference in Denver, Colorado last week. Simultaneously, we had Global #gtchat Ambassadors in Ireland, Ohio, and Missouri and beyond sharing news about “How Gifted Education and Social Networking Can Propel Learning, Collaboration and Advocacy!”

For those of you who are checking out the Ingeniosus site for the first time, welcome! For those who are returning, I’m hopeful that you’ll continue to utilize this site in your search for resources, inspiration and idea generation.

I continue to be impressed with the level of dedication of teachers in the state of Colorado, throughout the United States and world. Feel free to use the Ingeniosus site and social networking opportunities as you see fit. If you want to learn more about #gtchat – the Global Chat on Twitter dedicated to all things gifted and talented – click here. Also feel free to “like” the Ingeniosus Facebook Page. It’s an easy way to stay in touch with the latest gifted education news and resources.

As you begin building your own online Professional Learning Network (PLN) via this site and social networks, my hope is that you’ll invite others to do the same. The more educators and parents of high-ability learners we have collaborating, the greater our chances of positively impacting this critical population.

If you find a valuable tool, blog, resource site or have a new idea relative to educating and/or supporting gifted learners, leave a comment here and/or send me an email. Again, you are vital to the future and the tireless work you do – day in and day out – matters greatly!

Kindest regards,

Deborah Mersino (@DeborahMersino)


Global #gtchat T-shirts Are Here!

At long last, our Global #gtchat T-shirts are here! I’m thrilled to announce the “Shop” portion of the Ingeniosus site is now open: Two different T-shirt designs are available. The front of the shirts are both the same (featuring our #gtchat logo and tagline); the backs differ.

I will be shipping both domestically and internationally.

Please note that the shirts run extremely small, so when in doubt, order a size or two larger than normal. For instance, the Women’s-Small will easily fit a 9-year-old or 10-year-old.  So, consider ordering one (or several) for your student/s. They, too, can help spread the word about #gtchat!

I’ve ordered 50 shirts to begin with and will be adding new sizes to my next batch. If you don’t see a size you want or need, let me know via email. I’ll be sure to include it in the next batch. This particular brand – American Apparel – offers Women’s sizing (Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large and Extra/Extra Large) and Men’s (Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large and Extra/Extra Large).

If you have any questions prior to placing an order, feel free to shoot me an email at deborah (at) ingeniosus (dot) net. I will do my best to answer your questions promptly. I know some of you are looking to get your shirts by mid-October for conferences across the world. The earlier you order, the better your chances will be for having them in hand.

You’ll notice that I’m utilizing PayPal. For those of you who are unfamiliar with PayPal, it’s a secure, third-party shopping cart system that allows users to order without the shipper (me in this instance) seeing any of your credit card or banking information.

I’m new to the merchandising business, so I hope you’ll be patient with me as we launch this Shop. I’m currently using flat shipping fees based on average USPS shipping costs in the United States and Internationally (and a bit extra to cover insurance/tracking fees/labels/post office runs & actual tracking). Hopefully, there won’t be any glitches. Outside of the “P” in the tagline being capitalized inadvertently, I’m truly pleased with how the shirts turned out!

Please feel free to leave any comments in the reply section below (especially if you like the shirts!). I want to thank everyone who has exhibited such enthusiasm about this project. Corey Alderdice of The Gatton Academy gets extra kudos for coming up with our winning tagline: “140 characters. Unlimited potential.” Here’s to spreading the word about #gtchat! After all…

Ready to start shopping? Click here!


Role Models: Finding the Best Biographies for Gifted Students

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of #gtchat. Our real-time learning platform for collaboration and advocacy on behalf of gifted students (and those who serve them) keeps growing because of you! In these past few weeks, we’ve seen so many new faces from across the globe. I continue to be inspired by the sheer volume of links and dialogue taking place.

I’m hoping to get “Best of #gtchat” resource lists up sooner. Please join me in applauding @ljconrad, who graciously compiled our list from our 07.09 7:00 p.m./EST chat entitled, “Role Models: Finding the Best Biographies for Gifted Students.” If you missed the transcript, you can find it here {scroll to 10:30 for start of links}. Otherwise, feel free to utilize the live links below:

I’ve tried to keep our list simple and straightforward; the credit goes to everyone who shared! I should have the Math Mania links up soon as well. Thanks again to @ljconrad — and all of you — who continue to make #gtchat a potent platform for learning.

In other news, I’ve heard from several of you regarding Global #gtchat Sponsorships. I look forward to updating you all soon, as we welcome these visionary sponsors!

Warmest regards,

Deborah Mersino @DeborahMersino


An Official Thank You to All #gtchat Participants: A Follow-up Post Regarding Vision

I felt prompted today to write you all a follow-up blog post. I wanted to offer a bit more explanation of why I decided to begin offering Twitter Training Sessions, Parental Impact Presentations and Global #gtchat Sponsorships.

When I started #gtchat, I strongly believed in its power to support gifted students throughout the world. What I didn’t expect was the intensity and excitement of orchestrating and participating in the chats week in and week out. It’s been an utter privilege, and I now find myself wanting to devote even more time and energy to this fruitful endeavor.

I have a large vision for #gtchat and want to do everything I can to ensure its sanctity as an open forum devoted to finding solutions for gifted learners worldwide. Global #gtchat ultimately belongs to us all (not just me). It can’t exist in a vacuum. After all, we birthed it via collaboration!

Having said that, I do want to do more research, invite topic experts to specific chats, create “#gtchat learning links” based on each week’s chat, introduce tweeps with similar interests to each other, teach others about the new social media technology (especially parents who might feel intimidated), create customized transcripts with live links, assist new #gifted and #gtchat followers, and ultimately continue to help alter the way we think and learn about gifted issues.

I believe we’re at the very, very beginning of something quite extraordinary that has the potential to challenge our perceptions and knowledge about collaboration, culture, advocacy and peer-to-peer support in the global gifted education realm. I know this because I’ve been the beneficiary of your wisdom, your input, your enthusiasm and support! Read the rest of this entry »