5 Reasons Why Virtual School Is Great for Gifted Students
Educating gifted and talented students is challenging. To some, this may come as a surprise. Wouldn’t teaching a student who is curious, intense, and focused on getting things right make things easier? Isn’t having a student who learns faster an added benefit?
For those who work with gifted students, these traits are both a blessing and a challenge. Many parents and teachers have been left exhausted by the demands of adapting education to support a student’s giftedness. Thankfully, this constant challenge has also inspired educators to develop virtual education programs that enable gifted students to realize their full potential.
Explore our list of five common characteristics of gifted students to learn how an online school such as a Connections Academy®—supported public school or International Connections Academy private school can accommodate and enhance learning for these advanced learners.
A gifted student is prone to ask questions about anything and everything. Virtual education allows a student one-on-one access to teachers and the ability to ask and explore questions independently. A teacher and an answer are often only a couple of clicks away.
2. Complex and abstract thought
Whether they are in elementary, middle, or high school, gifted and talented students tend to look beyond simple answers and seek an understanding of the underlying issues. Through flexible pacing and specially designed curriculum, virtual education allows a student the time to truly understand a topic, unfettered by the usual constraints of a brick-and-mortar classroom.
Giftedness is sometimes called “living at the extremes” because gifted students may display overexcitable tendencies, such as strong displays of emotion, a need for constant movement, and sensitivity to sights and sounds. Virtual education allows parents and educators to create experiences and learning environments that take into account these needs in a way that may prove challenging or impossible in a traditional bricks-and-mortar classroom.
4. Strong academic performance
Giftedness is often evident through consistent strong performance in academic subjects. Virtual education’s flexibility allows parents and teachers to work together, selecting courses that align to the student’s abilities, regardless of his or her age. For example, if a student is several grade levels ahead in math but average in English, virtual education makes it possible to place that student in advanced math while continuing to take standard English. In addition, online schools often offer a wider variety of courses than many traditional schools do.
Gifted students are often perfectionists and will revise products and assignments endlessly. Virtual education allows for educators and parents to pace a student in a way that is sensitive to perfectionism, while also allowing for the development of a growth mind-set. Virtual education data systems also make it clear where a student is spending most of his or her time, which makes it possible for parents and educators to work more purposefully with the student.
Giftedness can be challenging, but there are few challenges with as great a payout as the realization of a gifted student’s potential. It is for that reason that virtual education is invaluable as a tool for tapping into a gifted student’s abilities and making sure that these students can realize their exceptional potential.
How have you challenged your students to do their best? Share your brightest ideas in the comments!