About the Author:
Tonya L. Witherspoon is a technology integration specialist at Wichita State University and author of the book “Multidisciplinary Units for Prekindergarten Through Grade 2,” published by ISTE The International Society for Technology in Education. Tonya led an online seminar on using technology with very young profoundly gifted children. The following list of resources was compiled from that discussion.
Look for technology tools that allow children to create and produce, brainstorm, analyze, and communicate ideas NOT just respond, react, and consume. Below is a list of technology projects, software, and online resources that were discussed in the seminar.
1. Digital Portfolios
When children use computers and technology to create digital products it is easy to begin collecting these products in a digital portfolio. Non-digital products can be scanned or photographed to add to a digital portfolio. In addition, movies and sound files can be saved to capture action, thoughts, and voices.
Digital artifacts can be collected and organized in a PowerPoint presentation, a webpage, a blog, a word document, etc. These files can be burned on CD or DVD and easily stored, duplicated, and shared.
An artifact becomes evidence when it is related to a goal or objective and includes a personal reaction or reflection that acts as a caption. A digital portfolio is NOT just a scrapbook. A digital portfolio is a thoughtfully selected group of items that can be used as evidence to prove a learning objective. It also includes personal reflections and future goals. Below are some informative sites on portfolio development:
Electronic Portfolios - Families
“The visual way to think, write, and comprehend.” - Kidspiration.
Atomic Learning video tutorial series:
3. Clay Animation
Creating a clay animation movie allows students to use their artistic and creative talents while using clay and technology to communicate and tell a story. Clay animation appeals to multiple intelligences and a broad variety of learners. Language skills are engaged while brainstorming and writing the script and storyboard. Mathematical, logical, and spatial skills are used in organizing the project, sequencing the frames, and using digital photography and video editing technology. Creativity is encouraged when students sculpt clay characters, draw and paint sets, and animate their stories. Collaboration skills are practiced when students work together to produce a clay animation project. Clay animation can be used as a communication tool for ANY subject. Below are a few examples:
Clay Animation Made Easy
4. Communication Software
5. Mathematical and Analytical Software
LEGO LDRAW and MLCAD
Zoombinis Logical Journey
6. Robotics Resources for Young Children
Robotics In The Classroom
PCS Learning Labs
Carnegie Mellon University National Robotics Engineering Consortium
7. Additional Online Resources
The Globe Program
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
GIS Brings Real-Life to Learning
The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University Writing Resources
Lulu – Self-publishing Resource
Want a radio station of your own?
Creating Your Own Internet Radio Station
Landmark Project – David Warlick
8. Resource Documents: What do the experts say?
ISTE NETS The National Educational Technology Standards for Students
Kids Design the Future
Young Children and Technology
From Now On – Jamie McKenzie
Edutopia – George Lucas
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
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