Students who are gifted often have many areas of interest. Many times, their areas of interest are vast and seemingly unrelated. Students who are gifted often have different areas of interest as they grow up. Maybe they are interested in building roads out of Legos or other materials when they are 5 or 6 years old, then have great interest in collecting and learning about all different types of pine cones or rocks when they are 8 or 9 years old. In middle school they may have great interest in statistics and probability in basketball. In high school they may collect books, media, models, and formulas about the history of flight leading to the space race to Mars. Student knowledge about these topics expands with each area of interest and as they grow up. How do students show the knowledge they have about all of their interests when the learning has occurred outside of school, so they have a record of their areas of knowledge and learning over the years?
One way is by creating a portfolio that documents knowledge and activities through collections, writing, artwork, photographs, creations, and other items that are gathered and used as artifacts. In a portfolio, an artifact is an item that shows knowledge, learning, competence, or simply joy in gathering information about a topic. Students create digital portfolios for many reasons, including documenting what they know and have learned throughout their lifetime. Parents may also create a portfolio to document the growth of their child over time.
Some people think of portfolios as huge binders like pages in a scrapbook. A learning portfolio is much more than a scrapbook. Nowadays, portfolios are digital and stored online. Following are several digital platforms on which to build a digital portfolio. Some are easier to use than others, so it is beneficial to take a look at more than one option. There are also YouTube videos for some of the options below that tell more about it if you do a search online.
Enjoy creating a digital portfolio!
LiveBinder Free public binders. Has an option of a subscription that makes the portfolio private. Many portfolios to look at and use.
3 Tools for Creating Digital Portfolios: Google’s Suite for Education, Seesaw, and Book Creator
Student Portfolio Apps and Websites: 17 Tools for creating portfolios
YouTube How-to Videos
YouTube How-to Videos
Each year in February I write about Wisconsin’s Open Enrollment program. This is when parents may apply to have their children attend a school in a district outside of the one in which they live. Open Enrollment has a defined time period, specific deadlines and application requirements that must be met so it is important for parents to make decisions in order to meet these requirements. The 2019 Open Enrollment period is February 4-April 30, 2019.
What does Open Enrollment have to do with gifted students? For many parents, it has made the difference in obtaining an appropriate education for their student. There are many choices for open enrollment including a classroom in a nearby public school in another district, a charter school in another district, or a virtual school based in another district. Parents have found much success for their gifted students in each of these educational options, it just depends upon what you are looking for in a school.
I highly recommend that you review the DPI website on Open Enrollment to learn more. There is a brochure, other information, and contact information. Talk to other parents who use open enrollment. With your student visit schools you may wish to consider for open enrollment and attend the open house events they offer. With your student talk to teachers, parents, and students in the school(s) that you are considering. Let your student have input into the decision. The open enrollment decision is much like doing a college search. Oftentimes the gifted student will “know” when a particular school or program feels right, but you still need to do your homework and research the school or program.
If you wish to investigate this path and do not know where to start, begin with the DPI websites and brochure, and feel free to contact me. I may be able to put you in contact with parents who have chosen this educational option.
DPI Public School Open Enrollment
DPI Open Enrollment Resources and Links
DPI Open Enrollment and Special Education
Virtual Charter Schools
List of Wisconsin Virtual Charter Schools
Ask the Doctor