Saturday, August 9, 2008

From the Week of August 3rd

RESOURCE REVISITED. We've mentioned iTunes U before in 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter and our monthly email briefing. Apple now says that iTunes U offers over 50,000 educational and audio programs for free download, and that the programs are from sources such as universities, museums, and PBS stations. Topics covered include literature, art, history, science, and many more. Our opinion is that this resource could be a great educational resource for curious, high-ability kids. Check it out.

THE HEAT'S OFF of homeschooling parents in California who were worried that the state would require homeschooling parents to have teaching credentials -- so homeschooling is still a guilt-free option for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids, parents who want to make sure the curriculum is made to fit the kid and not vice versa. Find out more about the most recent court decision.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY. This review was so positive it made us skeptical, but the product seems as if it could truly help and engage kids who struggle to read because of learning issues. The product is called the Tag Reading System, and it consists of an electronic, pen-like reader that can speak or interpret the contents of a page. A reader may choose to have the pen read a single word, a sentence, or an entire book; books are printed on special paper. The review says that one way the device engages is by initiating games involving the character or story. Read the review. Go to the vendor's website.

START A FORUM FOR GIFTED ASPIES? Autism Speaks has launched an autism social networking site on Ning (www.ning.com). The site is intended for members of the autism community to share insights, opinions, and information. There are currently over 800 members; forums on topics such as autism in the news, autism science, and autism resources; and around 20 groups devoted to various aspects of raising, educating, and coping with autistic children. A search on "gifted" yielded no results -- but that means the site is ripe for someone to start a group or forum on gifted aspies. Find the site.

EARLIER TESTING is now available to measure college readiness or show eligibility for gifted or enrichment programs, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. The College Board has plans to introduce an eighth-grade version of the PSAT in 2010. Read the article along with the pluses and minuses opined by various educators in the article.

AD/HD BACK-TO-SCHOOL RESOURCE. ADDitude Magazine has released a free, downloadable, 14-page back-to-school handbook for those who raise and teach AD/HD kids. According to the magazine, the booklet covers securing accommodations; working with teachers and administrators; and talking to the child about goals, fears, and challenges impending in the new school year. Find the booklet.

REWIRING DYSLEXIC BRAINS. ScienceDaily brought to our attention a Carnegie Mellon brain imaging study of dyslexic students. The study indicates that the brain can permanently rewire itself and overcome reading deficits. The study used a course of 100 hours of intensive remedial instruction. Find out more by reading the original press release at CMU's site.

EQUITY VERSUS EXCELLENCE, ONE MORE TIME. A Texas teacher of special ed and of the gifted wrote an open letter to President Bush; the letter was published at EdNews.org this week. In it, the educator asks governments and educators to:
  1. Emphasize less the passing of every student and more the finding of the gifted.
  2. Find gifted kids as early as first grade.
  3. Encourage states to use certified G/T teachers to find and teach G/T students.
Read the letter and comments on it, including one comment calling such an approach "divisive and elitist." Your opinions?

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