Full fathom five thy father lies:
Of his bones are coral made:
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them—ding-dong, bell.
--Ariel in The Tempest (I, ii)
Apparently something about raising gifted kids inspires my husband and me to nautical references: eg."Why is the rum always gone?" So it's appropriate that just the other day I was telling someone I thought gifted education and legislation is undergoing a sea-change.
Social networking is doing this, by uniting and giving voice to the GT community. Many parts of the deep transformation, started years ago, are starting to show their luster in ways my husband and I might only have dreamed some dozen years ago when we set out on our family's the frantic quest for answers, understanding, guidance, and empathy.
In The Tempest, Ariel speaks of a transmutation where, although the basic form remains, its very nature has changed from something common into something fine. The GT community (or "tribe" as Seth Godin would say) isn't new or even common—and each step to the present have been fortified, sometimes again and again, by the innovation and generosity of its members—but its not an easily assembled community. Opportunities in the gifted community such as #gtchat, blogs, Facebook, etc have changed the form a bit for some. For those who have the opportunity, face-to-face gatherings are never going to become less precious. But the impetus and the synergy created by social networks has ramped up, such that ideas, camaraderies, and energy move without the borders of geography, memberships, parent/educator roles or (gasp!) red tape.
Some issues that can be responded to quickly (although not always with finality):
- Individual parenting or teaching concerns
- Legislative issues (eg.Javits funding)
- Contacts between stakeholders/innovators/perspectives
Some issues that can be more easily and quickly discussed/initiated across a boarder spectrum of stakeholders:
- Legislative issues (gifted rights, funding)
- New ideas in education or parenting
- Systemic change (because social networking breaks down "silos")
Ahoy and let's hasten the sea-change!
Participate in #gtchat on twitter. Or read—and comment on—some of the wonderful GT blogs listed below. Now that advocacy can be initiated online and "go viral" (supported by the deep well of expertise already established) and now that the exchange of ideas is easier than ever, surely "something rich and strange" is on its way.
And I’ll be raising my glass of rum to that!