Thursday, October 31, 2013

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

THE WORLD SERIES IS OVER, but a blogger at The New York Times muses on the situation of a Boston Red Sox star who has ADHD and takes stimulant meds. The blogger wonders whether the gifted ball-player would have achieved to his potential without meds, or whether all baseball players would perform better using stimulants. Also mentioned in the blog: some of the player's impulsive, presumably ADHD-related moves over the years. Find the blog.

EDUCATION WEEK has made available a special report on common core standards. One part of the report covers how learners with special needs and gifted students are affected; another part is titled "Common Core Needs Tailoring for Gifted Learners, Advocates Say." Find the report.

WE'VE BASHED VIDEO GAMING, occasionally, on the assumption that kids don't really need to spend that much time fixated on a screen and, as often happens, exposed to violent or immoral actions by video game characters. A recent report indicates, however, that 30 minutes of "Super Mario 64" (quite different than "Grand Theft Auto," we guess) per day can increase gray matter in brain regions that are involved in spatial navigation, memory, strategic planning, and fine motor skills. The researchers posit possible applications in therapeutic interventions for disorders in which the brain volume of certain regions is less than normal, such as in schizophrenia or PTSD. Find out more.

VIDEO GAMERS, some of them, are apparently making their own transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) devices in an attempt to establish new neural pathways quickly and achieve virtuosity with a game more quickly than by practice alone. While some studies indicate that tDCS may improve cognitive function, motor skills, or mood, the do-it-yourself ventures by some users has experts concerned. Are nine-volt batteries disappearing fast in your house? Find out more.

NAGC is next week. If you've used their online tool to create a potential agenda for yourself -- or just to see what sessions are of interest to you, whether or not you're attending -- you can now download a mobile app to access your agenda on the go. We expect to see lots of attendees next week walking around with heads buried in their smartphones -- but what's new about that? (Just don't get between a determined 2e Newsletter session reviewer and his or her impending next session.) Find out more.

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