High Ability Learner Consortium  

January 16, 2017

One of the many valuable products and services that ESU 10 provides is a High Ability Learner Consortium for our member schools. Membership to this consortium allows ESU 10 to better serve schools with development, implementation, and maintenance of high ability programs, an often overlooked population. Consortium membership benefits include things such as consultant time, free registration to ESU 10 High Ability Learner workshops on related topics, High Ability Learner materials for checkout and paid registrations for a portion of their students who are registered for student events such as Invention Convention, Science Olympiad, and Quiz Bowl. We have 16 schools who are a member of the 2016-2017 ESU 10 HAL Consortium.

On October 13, ESU 9, ESU 10 and ESU 11 co-hosted a workshop with Dr. Richard Cash based on his book, “Advancing Differentiation.” Cash shared strategies and tools for teachers to apply in their classrooms to assist them in meeting the needs of ALL students. There were over 40 participants at the workshop and each received the book to use as a resource in their classrooms. Dr. Cash made three additional stops across the state in conjunction with the fall conference for the Nebraska Association for the Gifted.

Coding continues to be an excellent opportunity for students, especially those who have an interest in programming and computer science. The High Ability Learner consortium has allowed ESU 10 to purchase items for schools 

to check out in relation to coding. Those items are:

•  Makey Makey Kits. www.makeymakey.com kits allow students to use everyday objects as controls for their computer where they can use coding software to make music, video games, and other inventions/creations.
•  Dash and Dot Robots. www.makewonder.com Real robots used in combination with free iPad/Smartphone apps to allow kids to learn how to code by making the robots talk, dance, move and more.
•  Kano Kits. www.kano.me This kit is another option for teaching students how to code a complete computer.

These kits have proven to be a great opportunity for teachers and students to explore coding in the classroom. The kits allow for creativity and higher level thinking. The kits have continuously been checked out since the beginning of the school year and currently have a waiting list. We are continuing to research more options to grow this type of check out program for our member schools.

The ESU 10 High Ability Learner consortium is a positive asset to ESU 10 and our member schools and we look forward to continuing to grow and expand our reach!

-by Jami Schaffnitt, Teaching &Learning Coordinator