Edublogs Serendipity webinar overview – gifted & talented students


Our first Serendipity session of the year was a great session! As always the session was recorded and is well worth a watch/listen for the huge amount of sharing of ideas and links. I’m sorry for the delay in posting – a combination of migraines, a visitor staying and too many things still to do before I go back to work has left me without enough time!

The Session

We started as usual by putting our topic ideas on the whiteboard and then polling to choose the topic for consideration. The winner was a double topic “IEP for gifted students” and “Behaviour strategies for gifted”.

Once the topic was chosen we started with a whiteboard for the headings and to collect some of our ideas and thoughts on this including some links. As usual ideas were also shared via text chat and audio. This was a lively session with much of the sharing via audio leaving me with a dilemma about an image/interactive for this week’s post. The whiteboard has only a very small part of those things that were shared as does text chat. So what I have finally done is to experiment with a survey!

While the survey doesn’t give us an image in the post it does give us something different to do and so meets my personal criteria for something other than just plain text in every post 🙂



I enjoyed this session – this is one of the topics that we have visited before from different angles and I am always fascinated by the different directions taken when topics are re-visited. Because we never have exactly the same group of people each week Serendipity sessions are truly serendipitous in that our direction is informed by the particular experiences of out participants each week. Love it!

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is our first Edublogs “Fine Focus” session for 2012, where we invite you to share your favourite online survey tools in “What survey was that!”  join us on Thursday January 12th at 23:00 GMT/UTC the time for you will vary depending on your timezone (check yours here) Thursday afternoon/evening in the USA, late night Thursday in Europe, and Friday morning January 13th in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.

Edublogs webinar overview – Do you know Dabrowski’s Dogs?


This recorded, Fine Focus session presented by Jo Freitag (@jofrei) was fascinating and exciting. Jo coordinates the “Gifted Resources” information service website which includes “Sprite’s Site” where Dabrowski’s Dogs are regular visitors. She has intrigued us with mentions of Dabrowski’s Dogs in a number of sessions so it was particularly exciting to have a session devoted to them.

The Session

Jo started off by finding out where we were coming from on “Dabrowski’s Dogs”. She then gave as a great list of references so that we could find out more about the overexcitabilities for ourselves at a later stage.

Next we took a look at the dogs themselves as personifications of Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities. Jo gave us great character sketches of the dogs and also links to blog posts that explore the characterisitics.

Then it was our turn to do some work. Jo gave us slides on which to brainstorm the positives and negatives of the overexcitabilities in a classroom context and to suggest strategies for managing these.

The first of these slides is shown above. This activity was a great tool for thinking about the impacts of the overexcitabilities in the classroom context and for considering how they might be managed. As well as the whiteboard input there were also ideas shared in text chat. Jo also talked briefly about a teaching unit that can be used to help students better understand themselves.

Finally Jo asked us how we felt at this stage about Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities which gave rise to an additional whiteboard activity for us to express whether we could see echoes of ourselves in the dogs.


This was a fantastic session – full of information and activities and with lots of interesting “homework” in the form of links to visit later. As always I learned much! It seems to me that a virtual classroom might have some advantages over a face-to-face situation for managing some of the negatives (particularly those characterisitics that prove distracting to others) posed by the overexcitabilities.

Next Webinar

Our next session will be an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday November 24that 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday November 25th at 7am West Aus, mid morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual Elluminate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic.

Edublogs Serendipity webinar overview – What can we learn from gifted learners?


Exciting news – I have been holding this post awaiting confirmation that our next webinar will be @suewaters talking about RSS – see bottom of page for details!

My apologies in advance to anyone who accesses the recording – I was slightly late starting it so the poll itself is not recorded. This is almost certainly because I was being distracted by the fact that immediately after the webinar I was going to be the primary Elluminate Facilitator/Moderator for a major regional consultation involving focus groups with participants moving between several rooms and whiteboard roaming. All of the other focus group sessions around the country have been done face-to-face so this was very much a first. It went well – probably more of this in a later post!

In this recorded session – please let me know if you access the recording – the topic chosen was: “What can we learn from gifted learners?” As Serendipity sessions often do this diverged a little out of the topic into surrounding issues.

The Session

We started with the discussion question posted on the whiteboard. This first generated another question “What do we mean by gifted learners?” This gave rise to some interesting thoughts and ideas that addressed this very clearly, and also made some excellent points on the incorrectness of perceptions and stereotypes that exist.

The whiteboard was left in place throughout and some later additions were made but most of the lively discussion that followed was through textchat and audio. We digressed at times into consideration of  issues around the perceptions of some teachers when they encounter gifted students.


We also talked about issues around diversity and student reluctance to be identified as different in any way from peers.


This was a great session with lots of  ideas shared. The discussion flowed well in textchat and audio so that time flew by and the end came all too soon!

Our Next Session

FineFocusSmallOur next Webinar is an Edublogs “Fine Focus” session.  In this week’s session “RSS – your connection to the globe”  Sue Waters (@suewaters) of Edublogger fame will share her insights on how to use RSS to keep up with your global connections. Join us on Thursday April 7th at 23:00 GMT/UTC the time for you will vary depending on your timezone (check yours here) Thursday afternoon/evening in the USA, late night Thursday in Europe, and Friday morning in Australia – in the usual Elluminate room

In the Future

If you are a regular visitor to our webinars you will know that we alternate “Fine Focus” sessions on specific topics with “Serendipity” the unconference sessions where we choose a topic by poll at the start of the session. Sometimes the very fact of being asked for “hot topics” or other ideas for discussion or learning tends to make our minds blank. This has prompted me to start a Serendipity Wallwisher for topic suggestions. Please visit the wall and add your ideas for Serendipity topics so that we have more choices to consider. Some of these ideas might also form the basis for future “Fine Focus” sessions.