You might not know it, but way back when I was a brand new teacher and working on my Master's, my area of focus was Gifted Ed. I actually did put the degree to some use when I lived in NM as there, gifted children fall under Special Ed rules. They are placed on IEPs and receive special services. In Washington? I can't say that ever used what I'd learned about identifying gifted children and developing program needs. (Here, students only have to score well on an IQ test and a state assessment. Not much "gifted" about that...just smart.)
However, I can't say that the investment in my education was a total loss. The classes I took were very specific about how to construct learning experiences for gifted students---how to challenge them and access higher levels of thinking. Things that were, in fact, good for every student and should not have been reserved for a select few.
It dawned on me the other day that perhaps schools are reaching a point where the "special" instruction for g/t kids is (finally) becoming the norm for everyone. This both saddens me (Why did it take SO long?) and delights me (W00t! It's finally happening!). I think it may well be a result of technology driving that change. Perhaps a lot of what happens inside the classroom is the same-old same-old. But outside? It's a different story in terms of how kids are choosing to connect and learn. We have new "verbs" now for the kind of work students undertake.
I had this little Aha! while I was continuing the hunt for the elusive technology assessment/rubric. (This is truly a snipe hunt, if there ever was one...more on that in another post.) It started with this image from Educational Origami:
I had seen the reimagined Bloom's Taxonomy before...but not with the addition of web 2.0 sorts of skills...which then got me thinking about rubric descriptors for products...and reminded me of all the g/t file folders in my basement all stuffed with skills assessment stuff. It's the Circle of Professional Life, fer cryin' out loud. I'm back where I started, except this time, those musty old g/t folders are going to be put to use for every child. Every child. Maybe that wasn't the case in the past, but from now on, them's the rules.