We know that technology has the power to transform the way children learn; this may be particularly true for gifted students, as they have their own unique set of often overlooked needs. Keep reading to learn three ways in which technology can help you support gifted students.
Using Technology to Support Gifted Students
Learning is definitely not a one-size-fits-all process. Students learn at different paces and in different ways, and accommodating them all can be tricky for teachers, as you might already know. That being said, gifted students can pose a unique challenge since they're typically the minority in public school classrooms, requiring specialized learning opportunities that go above and beyond those of their peers. It can be tough for teachers to keep these gifted students engaged and challenged while also instructing less-advanced learners.
Fortunately, technology can help teachers meet the unique needs of their gifted students. It has the power to not only support but also help them flourish. Let's take a look at three ways in which technology can help you support gifted students.
1. Differentiated Instruction
As we mentioned above, gifted students generally require more advanced learning opportunities in order to stay challenged and engaged. Classroom technology can be a great help since it can be easily adapted to make learning personalized and unique to each gifted student.
With assistive technologies such as online courses and learning management systems, you can provide your gifted students with higher-level subject material and differentiated instruction with tiered assignments that meet their learning needs and keep them challenged. Some other assistive technologies that can help support the needs of gifted students and provide them with differentiated learning experiences include podcasts, ebooks, blogs, and encyclopedia websites, just to name a few.
2. Self-Directed Learning
When it comes to learning, gifted students often have distinct interests and areas of knowledge that set them apart from mainstream students. They may also be more self-motivated and eager to learn. Technology can not only help gifted students expand on their interests and knowledge but also encourage them to be independent, self-directed learners who take control of their own educational experiences. Adaptive learning programs may allow gifted students to tailor their lessons and assignments to meet their unique interests as well as their learning styles and capabilities.
Further, since technology gives your gifted students more control over their education, you won't have to take time away from your busy schedule to create special lessons or assignments for them. Gifted students who become self-directed learners can also gain valuable life skills that may help them down the road, such as problem-solving, critical-thinking, and decision-making abilities and self-awareness.
3. Networking & Resources
According to a 2013 Patch article, gifted students may struggle with forming and maintaining peer relationships. This may be due to the fact that their interests and academic abilities typically don't mirror those of their peers. Because gifted students can have a hard time relating to others (and others may have trouble relating to them), they may start to feel isolated and lonely. Unfortunately, as a teacher, it can be hard to watch your students, gifted or not, struggle with friendships.
Luckily, technology can be of assistance in this department, too! In addition to making resources for gifted students easily accessible, it can help them connect with other gifted students who have similar abilities and interests. Organizations such as the National Association for Gifted Children also offer networking and support opportunities for gifted individuals and their families.
As a teacher, you can help by pointing your gifted students in the direction of these types of resources via technological tools such as computers or tablets. Once students realize they aren't alone in their giftedness, they may feel more confident and secure, and it may be easier for them to form peer relationships.
Supporting Gifted Students
Now that you know some of the benefits of technology and how they can help you support your gifted students, it may be easier for you to offer assistance and guidance to them. Lastly, try your best to treat your gifted pupils the same as their non-gifted peers so that your classroom doesn't become unnecessarily divided.
If you'd like to have access to a huge library of online courses and video lessons that all of your students (gifted or not) can benefit from, be sure to look into Study.com's Teacher Edition.