Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

AIG Technology Conference Draws 150 Area Teachers

Thursday, June 02, 2016

150 area teachers attended the UNCW Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) conference titled “Powering Up Potential” at the Watson College on April 22.

Angela Housand, WCE associate professor and AIG program coordinator, said the conference was designed to provide teachers with effective strategies and practical tools they can use to engage gifted learners in the classroom.

“Teaching academically and intellectually gifted students is challenging and highly rewarding,” she said. “Often people think that because AIG students are smart, the job of teaching them is easy. The reality is that teaching AIG students is extremely challenging when it is done well because gifted students tend to be five steps ahead of what you planned for and grade levels ahead of their peers. The conference is designed to share teaching strategies and technology tools that can be used to motivate and challenge gifted learners.”  

Del Siegle and Brian Housand were featured speakers at the event.

Seigle is a professor in gifted and talented education and head of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. He is a past president of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and chair of the Research on Giftedness, Creativity and Talent SIG of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Seigle delivered a morning keynote titled “Research is More than Googling: Using Technology to Conduct Authentic Research.”

Brian Housand, an expert in gifted education and technology, was the lunch keynote speaker. In an address titled "Tech Tools and Resources to Whet your APPetite for 2016," he shared a variety of technology tools for use in the classroom, and invited teachers to access more at a website he created for the conference: www.brianhousand.com/uncw2016.

Breakout sessions offered during the conference were:

  • An Unexpected Journey: Autonomous Learning Through Digitally Driven Differentiation, Andrew Julian
  • Five Strategies for Using Tech Tools to Empower Advanced Readers, Cindy M. Gilson
  • Academies: Interest-Based Enrichment for Student-Driven Learning, Christy Howe
  • Promising Practices for Identifying and Serving Underrepresented Populations in Gifted Education, Del Siegle
  • Technology Tools to Integrate Games, Jeff Ertzberger
  • The Power of the Plan!, Stephanie Cyrus

Angela Housand said she was pleased with the high turnout at WCE’s second annual AIG conference.

"North Carolina provides a mandate and funding to identify and serve AIG students in grades K-12, but there is a scarcity of teachers who are qualified to serve the unique needs of gifted and talented students," she said. “It’s wonderful to see such a high level of interest from teachers seeking practical tools and effective strategies to take back to their classrooms.”

AIG Programs Offered at the Watson College

The Watson College of Education offers AIG add-on licensure and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) with specialization in Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG). Both programs have been designed with working teachers in mind. They feature a series of courses using the seven-week model – half the length of a traditional semester, which allows participants to complete the requirements for the AIG add-on licensure in one regularly scheduled academic year. The courses are offered online and the "in place" practicum experience can often be completed at the school where the teacher is employed.

For information on AIG Add-on Licensure, visit www.uncw.edu/ed/aig/licensure.html.

For more information on the M.Ed., visit www.uncw.edu/ed/aig/med.html.