Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

GOLD VIDEO. We've mentioned the Vancouver, BC, GOLD program for gifted/LD students at the high school level. On YouTube you can see three short videos providing perspectives of parents, student participants, teachers, and counselors about the program. What also comes out is the 2e dilemma -- wanting to succeed, finding barriers to success, and then (with luck or a program like GOLD) being able to succeed. If you watch the videos, be sure to check out the body language of the young man in the second video as he's put on the spot by his parents and a teacher -- and give him credit for being willing to open up as he did. Find the videos.

THE "RAIN MAN" DIES. Kim Peek, the model for the savant main character of the 1988 film "Rain Man" has died, and a New York Times obituary provides insights into his life, his talents, and his limitations. Peek could read books two pages at a time, one page with each eye, and was "the Mount Everest of memory," according to the obituary; by the time he was six, he had read and memorized the first eight volumes of the family encyclopedia. Peek was not autistic, but had abnormalities in the structure of his brain. His social skills and physical coordination were poor, and he required help to dress or brush his teach. Read more about Peek's life, including his amazing talents.

LEARNING STYLES: AT IT AGAIN. Daniel Willingham continues defending his position that "there is no evidence supporting any of the many learning style theories that have been proposed." He responds to the most common complaints about his position, and takes a swipe at teacher training. Find it.

2e CRIMINAL HACKER. A 28-year-old college dropout (and, we assume, highly gifted individual), has, according to The New York Times, pleaded guilty to breaking into corporate computer systems to steal credit card data. The hacker's psychiatrist says that the behavior was "consistent with the description of Asperger's disorder." The hacker's lawyer says the hacker suffers from Internet addiction and drug abuse. Read more.

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