In a recent post, blogger Jennifer Dublino (“Will Social Media Enable Humanity’s Next Evolutionary Step?”) 10/12/2010) stated, “Social media is … enabling global consciousness because it allows us to harness and coordinate the collective intelligence and talent of large groups of people.” These large groups of people have the ability to solve problems together that they would be helpless to do on their own. Dublino also sources James Suroweicki’s book, The Wisdom of Crowds, as saying that solutions to problems solved by the group are better than any individual answer.
Why not apply this same concept to gifted advocacy? For almost 100 years, researchers have studied and analyzed gifted children. Their studies have been written, peer reviewed, and rewritten. Concurrently, gifted education has been tried, reformed, and re-tried. To what end? Today, it faces elimination in many parts of the world. It is time that a solution is found to provide appropriate education for these children. It is obvious that individual attempts have not worked.
Peter Gloor of MIT’s Sloan Center for Collective Intelligence coined the term, ‘Collaborative Innovation Network’ which he described as, “a cyberteam of self-motivated people with a collective vision, enabled by the Web to collaborate in achieving a common goal by sharing ideas, information, and work.” Such an interest-focused global community already exists and has been working on this problem for almost a year now. I refer to Global #gtchat on Twitter. This group of people is committed to making a difference in gifted education through their “collective vision”. The network is admittedly in its infancy, but has made great strides and has branched out to connect in a myriad of ways to enhance the process with Facebook, blogging, email, and virtual worlds as well as Twitter. Participants have proven that cultural differences, foreign language proficiency, and proprietary resource issues can all be overcome and that global collaboration is possible.
We are at the dawn of a new era in advocating for gifted education. It does not matter where a child resides – Malawi, England, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., South Korea, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Russia – they all need our support. These children cannot wait any longer … a gifted mind is a terrible thing to waste! The world cannot wait any longer … we need bright minds to solve the ever growing number of complex issues facing humankind. This sense of urgency resonates throughout every chat in which I participate. It has allowed parents, educators, psychologists, and advocates come to the realization that we all share common experiences when it comes to gifted children. Come join us on this incredible journey we've begun to make the world a better place by appropriately educating our gifted children!