Friday, January 27, 2006

Distance Learning

I attended Northwestern University's summer programs for gifted middle schoolers many (many) years ago. I just learned the university now offers similar programs online during the school year. If you're looking for another distance learning option, see the LearningLinks program webpage. You can also read a story in the Daily Northwestern about the program.

These programs are ideal for kids in small high schools that can't offer many advanced courses. You simply go to the library and log into AP Statistics instead of showing up in class for Math 9. At about $550 a course, it's not cheap, but if you've only got 2-3 kids who need such work in your school, it's cheaper than hiring a teacher.

Of course, my favorite part of Northwestern's "nerd camp" (as such programs are affectionately known among attendees) was hanging out with other kids like me. I liked the academics, but I really liked the social aspect. Being online isn't quite the same. Still it's better than nothing. A lot better.


Jason Smith said...

I am too old to have gone to nerd camp but my sister went to a college affiliated one the summer of her junior year in high school. She had a great experience and it was not particularly pricy (also admission was need blind). A lot of her class mates went on to uber nerddom (famous matheticians, software entrepreneurs, etc).

From what I have read these programs have made great strides in publicizing themselves but their still needs to be improvements made in their outreach. My guess is that only 1 in 5 or less junior and senior high schools in the country even inform their students about their existence.

Jason Smith said...

You are great and I am very much enjoying this straying off the Hoagies Gifted page! I participated in 2 years worth of college level English through Johns Hopkins CTY program. I am years past that wonderful experience now, and am already upset about my 9 year-old step-son's indifference to the areas that interest me and his dad. I was always encouraged to interact with adults, and as a teen thought nothing of contacting an adult whose name was listed in Scientific American when I wanted more details. I'm hoping that some of your great readers can help me out... how do I encourage a personal scientific relationship in this area? How do I encourage my 9 yo dss? And if this child shows no interest, how are others dealing with gifted toddlers... my kids are 31 and 8 months, and the books don't apply to them already! I just don't want then to sit in a hallway doing their own work like I did... it was an awful experience I appreciate any and all suggestions! Thanks!