Technology and Gifted Learners

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Technology and Gifted Learners  Spring 2011


  • Reporting with Integrity by Danielle Schutz, Tremain, Kristen Sam, and Beth Littrell
  • Plugging into Creative Outlets by Brian C. Housand & Angela M. Housand
  • Fording the Shallows by Barbara Clark
  • “How Much is Two Plus Two, Daddy?” by Ron Garber
  • Eureka by Barbara Branch
  • Technology Picks for Teachers of 2e Kids by Jann Leppien
  • Using Technology to Benefit 2e Students Jann Leppein


  • Student Voices: My Passion for Engineering by Regina Zmuidzinas
  • A Passion for Architecture by Kathleen Gillette
  • Parent talk: Technology in the Family by James T. Webb & Janet L. Gore
  • Administrator talk: “The Best Trojan Horse for Causing Change in Schools…” by Carolyn R. Cooper
  • Carpe diem: Technology by Elaine S. Wiener
  • RtI2 for Gifted Learners: Appropriate Instruction and Intervention for Gifted Students by Beth Littrell
  • Web Watch: Online Gifted Communities by Carolyn Kottmeyer


  • Rtl for Gifted Students reviewed by Beth Littrell
  • Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students reviewed by Elaine Wiener


We begin with a topic that was a concern to teachers and parents long before the Internet but which has now been heightened due to the availability of online resources: authenticity and honesty in student research. Beth Littrell, gifted coordinator and new teacher trainer in San Mateo, California has been working with two young teachers in the district’s gifted program, Daniel Shutz Tremain and Kristen Sam. Together they crafted a model program for student research that fosters not only authenticity but also greater understanding of content. The model is presented in “Reporting with Integrity: Making Appropriate Use of Online Resources.”

Brian Housand usually writes a technology column for us each issue, but this time we asked him to do a full–length feature article to take advantage of his expertise. He and co-author, Angela Housand, focus on “creative-productive giftedness.” Their article, “Plugging into Creative Outlets,” includes a wide array of Internet sites to assist teachers and parents to encourage creativity in gifted learners. And they do it at all levels of learning: Pre-K–2, Grades 3–5, Grades 6–8, and High School.

Barbara Clark takes us in a somewhat different direction. Her concern is that brain research results are now showing evidence that “technology has begun to reshape the circuitry of our brains.” And not all of it is positive. In her article, “Fording the Shallows: Effects of the Internet on Developing Brains,” she refers to the work of Nicolas Carr in The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. It provides food for thought. Also concerned about the influence of technology is Ron Garber who teaches chemistry at California State University at Long Beach and is the father of three young gifted children. In his opening he asks the big question: “Do so-called technological advances have larger costs than benefits?” He formulates his answer by asking four more questions with elaboration in his article “How Much is Two Plus Two, Daddy?” Next we take a look at a use of technology created originally to help the military get where they’re going precisely but that can also be used to teach navigation to students.

Barbara Branch teaches a summer class for gifted 4th and 5th graders in “geocaching.” She explains that “Geocaching is a “high-tech treasure-hunting game; it began about 10 years ago with the release of the global positioning system satellites to the public.” She provides teachers with guidelines for setting up a similar class in her article “Eureka.”

Finally, we are indebted to Linda Neumann and Mark Bade who produce the 2-e newsletter, an online publication devoted to support for children who are gifted and also have a learning challenge. They kindly gave us permission to reprint material from their July 2009 issue on “Using Technology to Benefit 2e Students.” In it, Jann Leppein outlines the benefits of technology in supporting 2e students and then gives her picks of specific technology and how they can be used to benefit 2e learners. While we include cautions concerning the possible overuse—or perhaps misuse—of technology, we support the many positive uses of technology for all learners—including the gifted.

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