Basic education is compulsory for every child regardless of the physical and health condition. It is one way to combat illiteracy and bring balance to the country.
The government has supported students with special needs to make education life affordable and accommodative.
But the emergency of COVID-19 outbreak brought so many things to a halt. Students with special needs found themselves in a dilemma.
The closure of physical learning institutions almost shut the dream of these learners. Thanks to the advancement in technology that has brought light at the end of the tunnel.
The introduction of online schools for special education has been seen as a great relief to learners and parents. It is a method that guarantees the safety of the child during this pandemic.
The digital learning program has enabled children with special needs to achieve their academic goals without facing any challenges during the pandemic.
We have compiled a guide to help you understand the meaning of online school for education, benefits, and best practices to consider to make the learning process a success. Let’s find out:
Table of Contents
What Is K12 Online School Special Education?
K12 online school special education is a virtual institution dedicated to providing a high-quality and personalized learning experience to help students with special needs.
The online study has created a conducive learning environment, and this has helped the learner exploit their academic potentials.
The good news is that the outbreak of the pandemic has spearheaded the rapid growth of online learning for special education schools.
Research shows that many parents of kids with special needs have considered the option. The aim is to ensure their children are safe and inhibit unnecessary gatherings in the learning institutions.
The good news is that the federal government works around the clock to ensure equity in the field of education. The concern is not only to combat illiteracy but also to empower children with special needs.
But there have been some challenges since not all learners can access the internet connection. It is one of the major drawbacks affecting K12 online school special education.
One of the most incredible things to think about is that online learning for special education is likely to replace the traditional classroom even after the end of the pandemic.
Benefits of K12 Online School for Special Education
Online learning is an excellent option for students with special needs. But the parents need to assess the benefits of E-learning before enrolling their kids.
These benefits include:
Virtual classrooms offer convenience for students with disabilities. E-learning prohibits learners from traveling a long distance to attend physical classes.
Most traveling experiences are marked with a lot of challenges, and this puts pressure on learners with disabilities. It is one of the reasons behind a large number of illiterate people with disabilities.
Online study allows learners with a disability to gain access to education right at the comfort of their homes. It removes the hassle of traveling and physical stresses.
But the parent should be aware that online learning deprives the learner opportunity to explore the surroundings. Thus, the caregiver is mandated to take the responsibility of helping the child study.
Promote Resilience and Curiosity
Online study for students with special needs brings the best vibe for education. The internet allows kids to conduct thorough research to have a solid foundation for specific concepts.
The resilience and curiosity over the internet make the online learners perform better than those attending a physical classroom.
The platform is believed to foster academic growth for students with disabilities. The learners can develop positive vibes in their educational and real-life journey.
E-learning allows learners with special needs to get to know some things over the internet that promote their well-being apart from progressing academically.
Easier Access to Learning Materials
The advanced technology provides instruments that can be used by all learners with special needs. The development enables online learners with a disability to access learning materials online with ease.
For instance, visually impaired learners can listen to videos online and get to know more about various subject topics. There is no need of involving someone to help in reading the materials.
Most learning materials are readily available online, and the information is verified. The learner can also get involved in the academic discussion online with other students.
The good news is that there are plenty of programs that support learners with disabilities. The aim is to make the learning experience fun and enjoyable.
E-learning for learners with a disability usually promotes flexibility. The learning session can be presented in many forms such as text, audio, and video.
The presentation helps to accommodate all learners with special needs, unlike physical learning, where information is presented in text only.
The students can attend to their medical routine and later get access to the learning materials. Besides that, online learners can attend the lesson from anywhere around the world.
Therefore, learners will not feel a disadvantage in their education. The platform has brought real equity in an education institution for all learners.
Best Practices for K12 Online School Special Education
Remote learning has taken over physical classroom activities since the outbreak of Coronavirus. Many educators, students, school administrators, and parents got unique challenges while addressing online learning.
But teaching online special education is quite tricky. Educators are supposed to develop personalized programs that meet the needs of every child with special needs.
Here are some of the best practices for teaching online special education:
Create a Home-Base Learning Environment
Educators need to ensure the learner has all the necessary tools for learning. Thus, educators and parents or caregivers have to collaborate before kicking the lessons.
The prominent role of the teacher is to provide coaching and direction to the learner. Therefore, the tutor is supposed to educate parents on how to set up a conducive learning environment for their kids.
The direction should either be in text or video format. The instructions should highlight the goals, objectives, and expectations of the school.
Educators Should Have a Single Platform
There are many online learning platforms. Some of these E-learning programs are easy to use, and others are quite complicated.
The teacher should identify a simple platform for uploading learning resources and teaching the learners. Children with special needs find it difficult to switch from one platform to another.
The educator needs to pick a single platform and induct the learners on how to use it. Thus, no switching of learning platforms every single week.
Design a Predictable Learning Schedule
Teachers need to draft a learning schedule for students. The timetable should be sent to their parents or caretaker to prevent delays of classes or confusion when switching lessons.
The purpose of the timetable is to help the mindset of the student. So, the learner will know when to take a break and resume classes.
Ensure the lessons have some breaks before switching to the other. The goal is to ensure the learner with a disability finds it fun and enjoyable.
Avail Curriculum and Learning Tools
Remote learning involves the use of gadgets and a robust curriculum. These two resources may help to guarantee quality education and a great learning experience.
E-learning institutions need to discuss with the parents about the learning tools. The online schools can help parents get the gadgets and curriculum.
Special learning programs require unique materials and tools. Some of these instruments of teaching and learning are not easy to get.
Frequent Communication Routine
Teachers and parents should always have a regular communication habit. The routine helps parents or guardians know the progress of the child in the class.
Educators need to devise a simple form of communication channel that can accommodate families having issues with an internet connection.
If the caregiver does not comprehend English, the educator needs to bring onboard an interpreter to help in translation after the end of the lesson.
Pros and Cons of K12 Online School for Special Education
Online learning for kids with special needs is a real gem. It has made learning convenient and flexible for all learners with disabilities.
We have compiled a research outline of special (pros) features and drawbacks (cons) for K12 online school for special education. Keep reading for more insight:
Pros of Online School for Special Education
E-learning enables kids with special needs to get an education from the comfort of their homes without facing any challenges. It helps reduce the hassle of moving one place to another in order to attend physical classrooms.
Besides that, the platform allows the students to learn at their speed. The learning resources and materials are readily available on the forum.
Online study has lessened the burden of paying a huge amount of tuition fees. Parents will no longer experience overhead costs like transportation and school meals.
The only cost the parents will incur is an internet connection. The good news is that the amount payable is quite affordable.
Get Rid of Diversion
Kids with learning disabilities tend to lose their concentration more often. But online learning helps to grab their attention and foster concentration.
The personal attention the educator maintains is essential. It is one of the reasons behind the high performance among online students with special needs.
Access to Learning Resources
Most learning materials used by teachers are readily available online. The learner can access these resources to get more in-depth knowledge about a particular topic.
The learner only needs a computer and a good internet connection. But these are some of the essential learning tools that their parents can provide.
Exposure to Modern Technology
The world is changing due to rapid advancements in technology. Kids with special needs to familiarize themselves with the technology. It will help the kids not to remain behind, and the world is moving forward. Besides that, technology helps to make work easier.
Children with disabilities are highly susceptible to discrimination. But online education has brought a flat ground for each learner—the platform helps to boost the confidence and self-esteem of the learners.
Cons of K12 Online School for Special Education
Reduce Interaction Level
Kids with particular needs usually experience a difficult moment during the interaction. The introduction of online learning has wholly cut down any chances of socialization.
Thus, the kids might grow up without ease of making friends. Lack of interpersonal socialization inhibits the development of a self-reliant kid.
Loss of Management Skills
Online study is not affected by time. The learners need to connect to the learning platform at the comfort of their time. The idea ends up making the children low time managers at their workplace.
Besides that, it is quite common that parents struggle with helping the kid finish the assignment or assessment on time. Most of these kids will later face some challenges when it comes to organizing cognitive processes.
Lack of Encouragement
The traditional classroom is still the best since peers and teachers usually motivate each other. The motivation helps to boost confidence and self-esteem to study harder.
But an online classroom needs a learner to be self-motivated and good with time management. This can be a challenge depending on the conditions of each student.
It is recommended that you seek professional advice before you enroll your kid into any of these online learning platforms and decide whether or not is the best thing to do in order to improve your kid’s academic performance.
Even though Online Learning has improved the way we get an education for us and our children, it also important to remember that it is required a certain level of self-motivation and disciple in order to succeed.
All the best.!