A comprehensive plan for differentiating the training of teachers of the gifted online at the state, district and university levels in Florida, USA

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The training of teachers for a meaningful use of all that contemporary technology offers to developing curriculum requires constant vigilance, experimentation, innovation, revision and updating. The lifestyle of today’s gifted students includes a range of ever-unfolding technologies, such as text messaging, blogging, social networking, personal webpages, video pods, streamed television, online textbooks, online knowledge base, web searching, presentation tools, desktop publishing, graphics infused in word processing, simulations and complex gaming. At the same time, the technology literacy of most teachers is in ‘catch-up mode’ with constant retraining about how to provide curricula that includes webquests, virtual field trips, virtual passports, interactive maps (Google Earth) and webliography (TrackStar), presented in diverse formats. The following questions will be examined in this paper: How do you cross regional boundaries and local educational administration to provide a comprehensive state-wide teacher training system in gifted education? How do you differentiate teacher training in gifted education that uses appropriate methods, strategies and best practices in teaching gifted students? How do you incorporate the daily technology needs and uses of gifted students into training their teachers? How can you provide teacher training that is independent of time and space to reach teachers beyond their classroom yet make it directly applicable? How do you structure a system of accountability that meets state and national standards for gifted education? In the state of Florida, USA, a three-tiered comprehensive approach provides online training and certification to teachers at the state level, through the WOGI (Working on Gifted Issues) project, at the district level that builds on Florida State Training Modules for local relevance, and at the university level that can be incorporated into a graduate Master’s degree with a specialization in gifted education.

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Gifted Education International





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