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NAGC 2011 Virtual Convention

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Schedule at a Glance 

Hotel and Travel 

What You'll Find at the NAGC Convention 

Pre-Convention Events 

General Sessions and Mini-Keynotes 

Network Events 

Exhibit Info 


All About New Orleans 

CEU and Graduate Credit Info 

NAGC Live Learning Center/Itinerary Planner 

Parent Day 

Virtual Convention 


News about budget cuts, teacher furloughs and funding challenges reached NAGC loud and clear. That's why we're packaging access to NAGC Convention Saturday sessions in a convenient and inexpensive format.

  • You want to stay connected to the gifted community, learn from the experts, hear big ideas.
  • You don't have the budget to travel, but wish you could be part of the convention. 
  • You want to learn more about critical issues in the field to better support the gifted learners in your classroom.
  • As a parent you want to be connected to the latest topics that will help you get the services your child/ren need to succeed.  
  • You want to gain insight on the role gifted education should play in the 21st century from leaders in the field.
  • You need tips and techniques to put to work immediately.

The NAGC Virtual Convention makes it possible. 

Don't let shrinking budgets or travel restrictions keep you from being a part of the largest and most informative national conference devoted to classroom innovation, gifted education, and high ability learners. Register for the NAGC Virtual Convention experience and a full-day of content-rich sessions will arrive to your doorstep -- or desktop -- on Saturday, November 5. From sun up to sun down "virtual attendees" will have access to 21 convention sessions live, in real time.

Those who register to participate virtually, will also be given access to an online portal in which they can discuss topics, post documents, etc. in order to reach out to fellow attendees in advance of the live webinars. Have questions? Send a message to us. 

Sponsored by :


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Register for Virtual Convention Now!  

Click Here to View Sessions

Limited Space is Available -- Register Today!

About the NAGC Virtual Convention

* includes one-year NAGC Individual Membership


The University of California – Irvine, Extension, will offer NAGC Virtual Conference attendees 1 university continuing education unit of professional UC Irvinie Logodevelopment credit for $120. This official transcript may be used to document professional development hours and can be submitted to your district as requirements for salary advancement. Additionally, this unit can be applied toward UC Irvine Extension’s fully online Specialized Studies in Gifted & Talented Education certification program

To be eligible for credit, participants must:

  1. Attend a minimum of 5 hours of virtual conference sessions;
  2. Write a two- to three-page reflection paper summarizing how you will apply what you have learned from each of the six virtual sessions attended to in your own teaching situation;
  3. Submit the enrollment form, reflection paper, and $120 fee to UCI Extension, Attn: Education Programs, PO Box 6050, Irvine, CA 92616-6050.

For more information about this credit opportunity and/or to obtain an official enrollment form, please contact Lisa Kadowaki or call 949/824-9304.

Social Networking Opportunity

While there is no substitute for personal interaction with people, NAGC provides this full interactive web seminar incorporating online learning features such as live chat. But through the NAGC Virtual Convention Groupsite, you will be able to interact with speakers, work closer with the networks of NAGC, chat with others on topics of interests, and meet vendors ready to help you find solutions.

Groupsites are a new class of websites that empower people to come together and make things happen. Groupsites are powered by and combine the most useful features of traditional websites, blogs, collaboration software and social networks. NAGC Virtual Convention participants and speakers have a virtual atrium that provides the opportunity to participate in shared calendar, discussion forums, member profiles, photo gallery, file storage and more.

Please join the world of gifted through the NAGC Virtual Convention Group Site.


 7:30 am – 8:30 am

Artful Curriculum Design: A Practical Path (Curriculum Studies)

Kelly Hedrick, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach, VA

It is a challenge for teachers and administrators alike to ensure a coherent, comprehensive, and seamless gifted curriculum across the K-12 continuum. What if we created a scope and sequence of curriculum and instruction for the gifted that included field-tested resources proven to be appropriate for gifted learners? In this session, participants examine a comprehensive plan for developing gifted curriculum in a variety of settings: cluster grouping, select schools, and specialized classes. Learn how to create curriculum focused on gifted learner outcomes through a blend of district-developed curriculum with resources and a plethora of instructional strategies.

Kicking Learning Potential Up a Notch: The Effects of Praise (Parent & Community)

Cindy Sheets, Shawnee Mission School District, Shawnee Mission, KS; Kathy Jones, Advocates for High Ability Learners (AHA Learners), Chanute, KS

Praise can be effective - a positive motivating force, but not all praise is equally effective. In fact, some types of praise may harm more than they help. This session is based primarily on the work of Dr. Carol S. Dweck whose research has provided new insights into the effects of praise on the types of effort and motivation that lead to student success. In this easy-to-understand interactive session, parents and educators learn how to support the gifted children in their lives so that they can maximize their learning potential.

If this is the 21st Century, Where is my Jetpack? (Computers & Technology)

Brian Housand, East Carolina University; Angela Housand, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Greenville, NC 

We are now in the second decade of the 21st century. Our world is filled with amazing technological advances, yet our schools and classrooms have largely gone unchanged since the late 19th Century. The promise of the future is attainable with available free tools like cloud computing, mobile devices, game based learning, and augmented reality. Join us as we explore how gifted students are and could be using technology to lead us into the future. This session explores past predictions for the future and demonstrates how the technology of today can create the classroom of tomorrow.

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Angela Housand 

 8:45 am – 10:15 am

A Focus on the Arts: Arts Integration and Arts Programming for Gifted Students (Mini Keynote)

Karren Ryder, St. Landry Parish Schools, Opelousas, LA; Pat Widhalm, Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, Natchitoches, LA; Kyle Wedberg, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans, LA; Bethany A. France, Louisiana Department Of Culture, Recreation, And Tourism,  Baton Rouge, LA 

Attend this session to learn about the various ways that you can include the arts in your school's gifted programming. The state of Louisiana has a mandate for programming in the arts for students who are identified as gifted in the arts. The Talented Arts Program requires the development of curriculum for the visual arts and performance instruction for all Louisiana students. In this session, you will hear from several leading Louisiana educators about their arts programs and models. One incorporates the arts into a residential, state-supported school that also focuses on math and science. Others integrate the arts into elementary, middle, or high schools that serve primarily minority students or rural students. Another program is community-based and serves students in an urban area on a part-time basis. You’re sure to hear ideas to apply to your own program.

Bullying of and by Gifted Children and Teens (Mini Keynote)

Jean Peterson, Purdue University, West Lafayette, LA; Dan Peters, Walnut Creek, CA; Tom Hebert,
University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Michelle Haj-Broussard, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA

Experts on the social and emotional development of gifted youth will present perspectives related to bullying of and by gifted children and teens.  They will discuss unexpected findings in a qualitative national study of bullying experienced by gifted students, what teachers should be alert to and how they can address bullying, how therapists might approach working with either victims or perpetrators who are gifted, and vulnerabilities related to bullying.  All panelists will share thoughts related to cyberbullying, family- and school-systemic strategies for countering bullying, current legislation related to bullying, assessment of risk for self-harm for victims, and why intervention for bullies may be as important as attention to their targets. Panelists will dialogue with each other and respond to audience questions.

Connecting for High Potential: How Parents, Teachers and School Counselors Can Work
Collaboratively to Reverse Underachievement for Gifted Students (Mini Keynote)

Sylvia Rimm, Family Achievement Clinic, Sheffield Lake, OH; Del Siegle, D. Betsy McCoach, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Nothing is more distressing or perplexing to parents and educators when students with tremendous ability and talent are disengaged from school or achieving below their potential. The causes of underachievement are complex and approaches to ameliorating it must be multi-faceted. In this session, we examine the family, school and psycho-social factors that contribute to underachievement among talented students. Our panel members have expertise about family dynamics and family systems related to achievement, gifted education programming and instructional practices to engage learners, and psychological issues that affect motivation and achievement. Each panel member will present on their area of expertise followed by a dialogue between panel members on how schools, families and counselors can work collectively to reverse underachievement.

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10:30am – 11:30am    

Using the NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards in Identifying Students from Diverse Backgrounds (Special Populations)

Susan Johnsen, Baylor University, Waco, TX

This session describes how to use the NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards in developing a comprehensive identification system that allows all students to demonstrate their diverse characteristics and behaviors. After exploring issues related to identification, participants learn how to develop a challenging learning environment so that students may express their gifts and talents. This introduction is followed by a review of alternative and traditional assessment procedures that are non-biased and technically adequate and methods for organizing and interpreting assessment information. Participants have opportunities to discuss various identification procedures and examine case study information.

STEM Starters Toolbox: Nuts, Bolts, and Tools for Elementary Gifted Teachers (STEM)

Alicia Cotabish, Deborah Dailey, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Amanda Peebles, Arkansas Department of Education, Little Rock, AR   

Project STEM Starters, a Javits project, is focused on improving differentiated, content-specific science instruction in the elementary classroom, and increasing teacher science content knowledge. Utilizing the teaching strategies and curriculum from Project STEM Starters, project personnel introduce elementary science concepts, curriculum, and activities that focus on conceptual change and content integration. Whether you are a newbie to teaching elementary science in your gifted pull-out program or an old pro, there is something for everyone. Attendees walk away with a Project STEM Starters elementary science lab manual and differentiated science activities to take back to their classrooms.

To Group or Not to Group, That is the Question (Signature Series)

Bruce Shore, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; Karen Rogers, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN; Lannie Kanevsky, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Do gifted students learn better when they work on their own or in groups? When do they prefer to work alone or with others? Which is best: full-time grouping, cluster grouping or mixed-ability classes? Each of the presenters presents research findings related to these questions as well as tapping in to the years of investigations surrounding this controversy. The answers to these questions have important classroom implications for teaching bright students and for managing collaborative and peer instruction.

Susan Johnsen 

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11:45am – 12:30pm


Talkin' 'Bout My Generation: Examining Giftedness from a Generational Perspective (Conceptual Foundations)

Claire Hughes, College of Coastal Georgia, St. Simons Island, GA; Christy McGee, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY     

The social network captures elements of giftedness in today’s media and quickly-developing world. The latest culture wars involve the generational divides between Boomers, X-ers, and Millennials; however, there is a new generation in the elementary schools- children born since 2001. This generation is just beginning to form shape, and in a prescient foreshadowing, Strauss and Howe hypothesized that they would be shaped by crisis, forming an adaptive mentality. This presentation develops an understanding of the differences between generations, implications for parenting and teaching, and an understanding of how their generational context shapes the development of giftedness.

Challenging Talented Readers With 21st Century Skills  (Curriculum Studies)

Sally Reis, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

This session summarizes research on talented readers (grades 1-8) and current instructional programming for these students. The special needs of this group are discussed as are specific differentiated strategies that enable them to make continuous progress in reading using the Schoolwide Enrichment Reading Framework with three phases of reading instruction. Stimulating read-alouds are implemented, accompanied by higher-level critical and creative questioning focusing on reading strategies that challenge and engage talented readers. This research-based approach includes opportunities for independent reading with differentiated conferences focusing on analysis and synthesis using advanced reading strategies and self-selected in-depth project-based work.

A Crash Course in Practical Counseling Strategies for Teachers of the Gifted  (Professional Development)

Michelle Muratori, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; Laurie Croft, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA   

To increase competence and confidence when interacting with gifted students, teachers must be equipped with basic counseling skills and strategies to employ in their classrooms. NAGC/CEC Professional Standard 5 emphasizes five skills educators should master; new Program Standards emphasize positive learning environments and social skills educators should model and facilitate. In this interactive session, teachers learn basic counseling skills, putting them into practice through role playing exercises. The presenters explain basic psychological concepts that impact the dynamics between educators and students. To illustrate these concepts, case examples are provided and discussion encouraged.

12:45 pm - 1:30 pm    

Self-Regulation: Critical Skills for Adolescent Gifted Learners (Middle Grades)

Richard Cash, Bloomington Public Schools, Bloomington, MN     

As children move into adolescence, motivation to learn becomes more complex, especially for gifted students. In many cases, adolescent gifted learners may not have amassed the required strategies of self-regulation to manage complex curricula and projects. It is essential that teachers assist gifted adolescents in developing the skills of self-regulation, including planning, organizing, and meta-cognition. Self-regulation is critical in becoming an autonomous responsible learner. This session demonstrates how to infuse self-regulation strategies into everyday lessons and activities. Participants are also guided through a continuum of teaching and learning that can lead students to greater learning autonomy.

Building Momentum in Your School for Gifted Programming (Middle Grades)

Brandon Smith, South Hall Middle School, Flowery Branch, GA  

How do you use the research of today’s field of gifted to recruit, identify, serve, and influence today’s diverse gifted population? This session is about how to take the Renzulli Triad Model combined with leadership skills to create educational environments that will catalyze the community to action. Leave with multiple models and programming designs along with real action steps that jazz up your programming in a creatively attractive way. Learn how to build showcases to highlight student work, museums to inspire creative learning across the board, and real tips on how to serve students of diverse backgrounds.

Technological Tools to Teach and Practice Differentiating the Curriculum (Professional Development)

Marge Hoctor, Sandra Kaplan, Jessica Manzone, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Deborah Hazelton, California Association for the Gifted, Solana Beach, CA

A combination of face-to-face and online professional development experiences has resulted in the implementation of some new technological tools designed exclusively to introduce, reinforce, and/or extend the competencies needed to differentiate curriculum for gifted students. The Virtual Classroom and the Drop and Drag are two of the technological tools that are demonstrated and shared for their potential to augment professional development face-to-face or online.

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1:45 pm – 2:45 pm    

Our Sputnik Moment (Signature Series)

Susan Rakow, Cleveland State University, Cleveland Heights, OH     

Today’s middle grades students face similar critical moments in their lives as did their predecessors. Sadly, not much has changed in the schools they attend. Digital natives, their use of new technologies is as natural to them as radio and records were to many of us. Diverse populations of gifted learners remain under-identified and underserved in the middle grades. The emphasis on STEM as a key component of global competitiveness must begin in middle school - but how? This session explores these key issues and potential solutions including programming structures, acceleration, service learning, subject area strategies, and the role of summer and co-curricular programming. Creativity and the will to step out of our comfort zones helps us seize this moment and inspire middle grades students to contribute to the greatness of our nation and the larger global community.

Differentiation and the Brain: Using 21st Century Knowledge to Support Student Growth (Curriculum Studies)

Carol Tomlinson, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA     

At the outset of a new century, an increasingly helpful source of information for classroom planning is the emerging field of neuroscience. While still evolving, insights from this area are increasingly illuminating in understanding how students learn and why particular practices do (or don’t) work. This session examines findings from neuroscience related to differentiated instruction with the goal of helping educators understand more fully how the brain responds to curricular and instructional decisions for high-performing and high-potential learners.

I Hate School: Addressing Affective Needs in Your Gifted Curriculum (Curriculum Studies)

Alessa Giampaolo, Hand In Hand Educational Services, Reisterstown, MD    

The gifted child: stubborn, committed to justice, empathic, intense, and the list goes on. Without thoughtful instructional support, these endearing (and not so endearing) gifted traits can transform into obstacles to achievement. Examining peer-reviewed literature and organizing gifted characteristics at the autonomous, relational, and operational levels, attendees gain a developmental understanding of the affective needs of the highly gifted child. Participants also explore how they can integrate an affective scope and sequence into their current curriculum in order to support the needs of the whole gifted child.

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm  

Academic Acceleration: Resources for Identification, Policy, and Advocacy (Parent & Community)

Maureen Marron, Susan Assouline, Nick Colangelo, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 

Academic acceleration is an educational intervention that tailors the complexity and pace of the educational curriculum to an individual student’s rate of learning. Despite the effectiveness of acceleration in providing appropriate academic challenge, some schools are reluctant to accelerate students. Attendees receive suggestions for discussing acceleration as an option, and learn about strategies and resources to use when advocating for changes to grade-based and content-based acceleration polices and practice at their school. Advocacy tips are rooted in the recommendations of the NAGC Advocacy Toolkit but adapted specifically for acceleration.

The Twice-Exceptional Learner: What Have We Learned and What’s Next? (Special Populations)

Lois Baldwin, Tarrytown, NY; Susan Baum, Bridges Academy, Storrs, CT      

Many changes have occurred in our theoretical and practical understanding of the twice-exceptional student since approximately 30 years ago when a federal grant established the first programs for students who were referred to as gifted/handicapped. We now refer to those same gifted students who have learning and behavioral issues as twice-exceptional. A great deal of research has been conducted and a variety of programs and schools has been developed. The presenters discuss current research and various successful programming options. There is also a discussion of future needs and directions.

21st Century Skills for Gifted Learners: Responsibility, Persistence, Collaboration and Resilience (Counseling & Guidance)

Carolyn Coil, Pieces of Learning, Marion, IL   

Explore societal mindsets that discourage achievement and encourage gifted students to slide by in school, underachieving because they put forth minimal effort and work. In this session, learn practical, proven strategies to motivate, encourage, and help your gifted students develop the 21st century skills of responsibility, persistence, collaboration and resilience. Assist them in becoming more responsible for their own learning, accepting academic challenges, learning from failure, being persistent when working toward a goal, collaborating with others, and developing resilience when experiencing times of stress and disappointment. These strategies focus on both the academic and social-emotional needs of gifted children.

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Computer Requirements

After registering, accessing a session is easy and just takes a few seconds. You will be provided log-in instructions after registering.

PC System Requirements:

  • Internet Explorer® 6.0 or newer, Mozilla® Firefox® 2.0 or newer (JavaScript™ and Java™ enabled)
  • Windows® 2000, XP, 2003 Server or Vista\
  • Cable modem, DSL, or better Internet connection
  • Minimum of Pentium® class 1GHz CPU with 512 MB of RAM (recommended) (2 GB of RAM for Windows® Vista)

Participants wishing to connect to audio using VoIP will need a fast Internet connection, a microphone and speakers (a USB headset is recommended).

Mac System requirements:

  • Safari™ 3.0 or newer, Firefox® 2.0 or newer (JavaScript™ and Java™ enabled)
  • Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer
  • PowerPC G4/G5 or Intel processor (512 MB of RAM or better recommended)
  • Cable modem, DSL, or better Internet connection