“2010 has proven to be a year of growth, learning and global collaboration. Your support, participation, questioning, ideas and passion have ignited new life into the advocacy movement on behalf of these bright and creative students.”
~ Deborah Mersino, Ingeniosus and #gtchat
Gifted advocates often discuss the need for gifted children to engage in true peer interaction; both in school and out. Why is that so important? Because it has been shown that these kids thrive and grow exponentially when allowed to learn and socialize with others who are ‘on the same wave-length’! They can bounce ideas off each other and they can be comfortable in the knowledge that classmates truly understand them.
The same can be said for gifted advocates! Through the magic of the Internet and social media networks, gifted advocates find solace and friendship with those of like-minds. Many gifted parents and advocates were often isolated in the past and found their ability to make a difference … well … overwhelming. Today not only can parents and those who advocate for their children within a school district join together, but that bonding takes place at the global level. Talk about inspiration and collaboration and cooperation!
There are those in the gifted community who shun social media. Some are technophobes; some are grounded in a past era; some are protective of their intellectual property; and some don’t believe they have the time to engage in online activities. Their choices must be respected. The work these folks do at the local level is invaluable. We must therefore work together – both online and off - to bridge any barriers to forming a vibrant community dedicated to the children we care so much about. This is what ‘social-networking’ is all about!
Practicality is another reason gifted advocates as well as parents must consider bonding online. In a world and time when economic issues place so many constraints on personal budgets, advocates are often forced to pick and choose how and when they will meet and collaborate. The Internet, however, provides a near-perfect solution to this obstacle through online conferences. They are convenient, can take place at virtually any time or place, and provide a platform for all levels of expertise. Many more people can be involved in such experiences thus enriching the knowledge-base of all community participants.
The same goes for the local level where organizing meetings online provides excellent opportunities for gifted parents to meet without the hassle of traveling to a physical meeting place. Forget finding a suitable location, refreshments, finding a babysitter, coordinating schedules, and dealing with weather-related issues. This may require a training session or two on whatever platform you choose, but it is well worth it. Exchange of information instantly becomes 24/7 and easily accessed without having to print out hard copies of everything.
Final thoughts … global bonding provides us with new ideas, fresh perspectives, a ready-made set of FAQ’s based on years of experience, emotional support and encouragement, access to the latest and greatest in gifted research, and sometimes … just sometimes … a shoulder to cry on. How can you say ‘no’ to all that?
Let us commit to growing our community of parents, advocates, researchers, and educators as we strive to make a difference in the lives of children who will make a difference in our world!