Thursday January 26th 2023

Dr. Jessica Potts. She spoke about online learning and gifted students.

Gifted Students and Online Learning

Online learning has recently become a topic of interest in gifted education, as virtual learning platforms have the potential of providing gifted students with levels of rigor and pacing that are appropriate for their abilities. While gifted students are able to benefit from the curricular flexibility of online learning, they must still contend with the challenges of transitioning into fully online learning environments. These challenges can be compounded when students are also transitioning from mainstream learning to situations to environments that are designed specifically for gifted students. Teachers and parents must also contend with gifted students’ perceptions of online learning, which were undoubtedly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the quick, unplanned move to online learning platforms. The dearth of information about the experiences of gifted students in fully virtual classrooms suggests that more research is needed if educators are to help this unique population adjust to the rigors of online learning. The goals of this presentation are to discuss existing research on the intersection between gifted and online education, and to give teachers, administrators, and parents tools in assessing readiness and helping students navigate the transition into online learning.   


Jessica Potts is a humanities instructor and the Curriculum Coordinator at Davidson Academy Online, a fully virtual school for profoundly gifted students. She earned a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in Secondary Education, with an emphasis on gifted education and online learning. Her research focuses on the intersection of these two fields, and along with authoring a chapter in a book on gifted underachievement, she has published articles in Gifted Child QuarterlyGifted Child Today, and EdWeek. She has presented at numerous conferences and recently helped to deliver a webinar on professional development for MIT. She is a four-time recipient of the Blackboard Catalyst Award, a winner of Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Award, and a recipient of the J-WEL Vox Innovators Award. Jessica and her husband live in the Czech Republic with their sons.