The Gifted LearningLinks (GLL) Family Program is a series of engaging online enrichment courses for bright children in kindergarten through grade 3 developed by the Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University.
While children often find digital media highly appealing, research actually shows that young children still learn best through “high touch” experiences rich with social interaction and dynamic feedback.
Therefore, the GLL Family Program was created to tap into the motivating aspects of learning with technology. The family program, through these online courses for kids, provides an alternative to passive “screen time” and so-called “click-and-next” educational software that children use in isolation.
Winter applications now open! Check back in February for Spring applications.
GLL Family Program courses are designed around activities that children complete with their parents, both at the computer and away from the screen. Master instructors guide parents through activities while modeling how to help develop students’ higher-order thinking skills. Online, real-time discussions allow participants to share their discoveries and collaborate with other family groups from around the globe within a secure and private online environment. Blending convenient “on-demand” activities with occasional “live” sessions has been appealing both to families with students in traditional schools looking for flexible out-of-school enrichment and for homeschooling families seeking to provide a customized core curriculum and opportunities for positive peer interaction.
There are no test scores or further documentation required for participation in the Family Program. The best criterion to ensure success is that the child has an interest in the topic and at least one family member has time to work with the student.
Students will work with parent(s) on engaging course activities, requiring 2-5 hours per week. Courses feature:
- Regularly scheduled online meetings
- Discussion boards
- Core exercises as well as a variety of supplemental/extension projects
- Students need access to a stable internet connection and updated web browser.
- Participation in “live” online sessions may require a computer microphone or headset.
- While iPads and tablet computers may be sufficient for most coursework, some web tools and/or websites may require the use of a computer or laptop.
- Acceptance notifications are sent via e-mail upon receipt of a completed application.
- Prior to the course start date, students receive login information allowing them to gain access to the learning management system, Schoology, which houses Gifted LearningLinks courses.
- Course access begins on the official start date.
- Syllabi, assignments, timelines, discussion boards, links and more are found on the course site, which is available 24/7.
- Primary communication with the course instructor and/or classmates occurs within the learning management system.
- Online, real-time discussions allow participants to share their discoveries and collaborate with other family groups from around the world.
Students will receive a certificate of participation at the conclusion of the course.
For information on how schools can partner with Gifted LearningLinks, visit our Partner Opportunities page.