This project comes on the heels of the recent program evaluation provided by our University of Georgia team. This evaluation found two main needs for the Department of Defense concerning its gifted education programs: The need for an updated program guide, as well as resources for educators to receive ongoing professional development. This grant provides for both, creating revised program guides for grades K-5 and 6-8, as well as a list of free online resources for teachers to develop modules for online training.
From the Program Evaluation that the UGA Team conducted for the DoDEA Gifted Program (2015), two areas emerged as salient needs: 1) Revision of the Gifted Education Program Guide to provide updated, clear, and complete guidelines and policies; and 2) Professional Development for educators involved with the Gifted Program. Therefore, we have proposed meeting those needs, as well as the need for a Program Guide for the Middle School. Based upon our findings and the guidelines of the DoDEA schools, and in collaboration with Dr. Laurie Abeel, the new Gifted Specialist for DoDEA, as well as other key DoDEA personnel, we will revise the current Gifted Education Program Guide (K-5) for clarity, consistency, and compliance with current best practices. We will also create a parallel Gifted Education Program Guide for Middle School (6-8). To address the need for professional development, we will create a list of free online resources for educators and develop five high quality digital modules to engage educators in online training. These modules, consisting of a variety of tools, will reflect the latest research on best practices in gifted education and be differentiated by content, educator's role, and grade level. Comprised of videos, engaging activities, readings, and discussions, these modules will be uploaded to the DoDEA Schoolology Platform for easy access by all educators in the system.