Monday, July 31, 2017

SENG Conference, Ed Tech, Strength-based Parenting, More

SENG. The annual conference of the organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted begins later this week in Naperville, Illinois. For members of the 2e community, the SENG conference is a great place to learn about gifted and 2e issues and to meet parents, educators, and clinicians who are involved in those issues. It's a national and international conference but especially accessible this year to those who live in the Midwest. (And there are kids' programs during conference hours if you want to make attendance a family affair.) The program listing is posted at the SENG site. 2e Newsletter will attend. See you there?

EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY is the topic of an article in The Economist, which contends that technology (at last) has the capability to make personalized learning a reality. The author traces the roots of ed tech to BF Skinner and his 1950's teaching machine, and sets forth certain conditions for the success of personalized, adaptive learning this time around -- including teachers' willingness to use new technology. One point of contention (to us) in the article was this: "...'personalised learning' must follow the evidence on how children learn. It must not be an excuse to revive pseudoscientific ideas such as 'learning styles.'" We suggest that the experiences of those who raise and teach 2e students lead to caution in dismissing individual differences (capabilities and preferences) in the way students receive and express information. We also assume that a robust personalized learning system would be able to present information in several alternative ways. Find the article.

THE BRAIN'S EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT was the topic of a Cerebrum article we pointed to recently. Those who prefer to receive their information aurally 😊 may hear a podcast on the same topic and with the author of the article. Here's the Cerebrum site, and here's the site hosting the podcast.

STRENGTHS AND CHALLENGES are both in the mix in our interactions with 2e kiddos. The Washington Post ran an interview with the author of the  book The Strength Switch, subtitled "How the New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish." The intro to the interview starts this way: "You see your child made four As and one D on their report card. Do your eyes skim over those excellent grades and immediately focus on the D?" Well, parents? Are you like most of the rest of us? Want to change? Find the interview.

DEPRESSION. US News offers tips for treating depression in children in a recent article covering psychotherapy as well as meds. Find the article.

UNDERSTOOD is offering a free "live chat" this Thursday at noon Eastern time. It's titled "Talking to Your Child about Their ADHD and Dyslexia Diagnosis." Find out more.

EXECUTIVE FUNCTION. "As children age into adolescence and on into young adulthood, they show dramatic improvements in their ability to control impulses, stay organized, and make decisions," says the first sentence of an article at Medical News Today. So yes, parents and educators, things are supposed to get better over time. Want to find out how and why and what goes on in the brain to aid improving cognitive control? Read the article.

U.S. EDUCATION POLICY AND LAW. School vouchers have been proposed the the new education secretary as a way to improve the American educational system. Scientific American, in its August issue, writes about the evidence supporting (or not) the proposal, citing limited trials and mixed results. If you're lucky, you can read the Scientific American article for free; if not, you can read about it and get additional commentary in The Washington Post.

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