We’re excited to announce the STEMIE Coalition, the host of the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo, have developed a K-12 Youth Invention Curriculum available for use by Invent Iowa teachers!
This comprehensive online invention and entrepreneurship curriculum has been released in beta version, and will be in development for the next few months. Each week, new lesson plans including videos, alignment to standards, activities, and slideshows are added, with material ranging from lasers to a shark tank styled activity. All resources are freely available for you to adapt to meet the needs of your inventors. You can access the free curriculum here: http://www.nationalinventioncurriculum.org/.
Also, be sure to check out information about the 2018 National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE), that will be held at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan in June 2018! Winners of the Invent Iowa State Invention Convention will have the opportunity to attend the National Invention Convention funded by Invent Iowa. If you have questions regarding Invent Iowa, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Belin-Blank Center still has upcoming professional learning opportunities this fall!
If you attend the National Association for Gifted Children Conference this year in Charlotte, North Carolina (November 9 – 12), the Belin-Blank Center is offering Leadership in Gifted Education: NAGC 2017 for either one or two semester hours of credit; this workshop is offered from November 16 – December 8. The Center provides an automatic 50% tuition scholarship, applied to the cost of graduate tuition, for those participating in this conference credit.
Our final one-hour workshop this fall is Differentiated Instruction for the Gifted, beginning on November 13 and ending on December 5. Be sure to share the availability of this workshop with teachers who would benefit from information focused on best practices in differentiating for high-ability learners.
Educators completing their endorsements still have time to sign up for the practicum experience beginning on November 6.
Please visit the belinblank.org/educators in November to see what professional learning opportunities are available this spring; if you have a topic that you would like to see offered, please contact Dr. Laurie Croft at either email@example.com or 319-335-6148. And for some of the best informal professional learning in the field today, please join our gifted-teachers listserv. To subscribe to the list, send an email to LISTSERV@LIST.UIOWA.EDU and, in the text of your message (not the subject line), write: SUBSCRIBE GIFTED-TEACHERS First-Name Last-Name. You can also join our new Gifted Education and Talent Development Ning, designed to extend the topics discussed on the listserv, for another tool to facilitate professional development in gifted education.
We are thrilled to announce that we have received a Javits grant! The joint project – by co-PIs Professors Susan Assouline, Saba Ali, and Megan Foley-Nicpon, and methodologist Dr. Duhita Mahatmya – consists of a five-year, $2.1 million plan to increase educators’ capacity to identify and provide talented and gifted programming to underrepresented students in Iowa. Dr. Ali, Associate Dean for Research in the University of Iowa College of Education, and Drs. Assouline, Foley Nicpon, Mahatmya, of the Belin-Blank Center, will use a career intervention Dr. Ali developed, along with I-Excel, a Belin-Blank Center online above-level assessment, to further the goals of this project.
We are fortunate to bring talent and career development opportunities to students with disabilities and students of color living in rural Iowa communities…I look forward to the difference we will make for many students who otherwise would never have been seen or heard.
– Dr. Megan Foley Nicpon
The title of the effort is the “Culturally Responsive Talent Identification and Career Exploration (TICE).” According to the project abstract, “[u]nderrepresented students, especially students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, students of color, rural students, and students with disabilities, are at risk of being overlooked for participation in talented and gifted programs. Project personnel will integrate an expanded talent development model…and a career intervention program…to maximize the identification and development of underrepresented talented and gifted students.” The Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA) will also contribute to this project, broadening the courses available to these students by offering online coursework in the schools. We look forward to this opportunity to use the experience and knowledge of the Belin-Blank Center and the College of Education from the last several decades to impact bright students who are so often overlooked.
In 2008, Adam Penenberg described a Ning as a collection of free social networks, “growing automagically.” Educational Technology and Mobile Learning wrote in 2012 that Nings provided “great social networking for educators…where they can meet up with other like-minded teachers,” listing some popular educational Nings about a variety of educational topics. Educational Networking has provided a much more extensive list of opportunities online, including Nings, among all kinds of resources (from “Buddy Press” to “Vocational”).
Since 2003, the Belin-Blank Center has hosted one of the largest and most active listservs for advocates for gifted students (including teachers, administrators, parents, and university faculty, with subscribers from Iowa, from all around the United States, and from a variety of other nations) and for best practices in the development of their talents. The Gifted-Teachers listserv has attracted over 1,100 subscribers, and it provides members with peers who can respond to questions, both on the list and directly to the email of those who ask questions. While many teachers of the gifted have few “true peers” in their buildings to talk about topics important to gifted, the listserv offers a community—and “just-in-time” learning when a teacher hopes to find an answer as quickly as possible. Now, to complement the listserv, the Center has created a Gifted Education and Talent Development Ning, hoping to provide a resource for many of the questions that appear on the listserv and extend the learning opportunities.
The Ning is a free resource for those interested in gifted/talented education, and we welcome your participation, your additions to the site, and your recommendations to make it as helpful as possible. Please visit https://giftededucationandtalentdevelopm.ning.com/. In the top right-hand corner, notice the link to Sign Up. You’ll be asked to create a new account linked to your email address. After you have created your new account, you’ll be able to Sign In and take advantage of professional learning with no walls or time constraints.