We all know the world has been turned upside-down in the last few years, especially in education. Discussions and arguments abound over when, or even whether to reopen schools. But what if online school is a better option for your student, even before the pandemic?
If you have a student with special needs, online school may be what they’ve needed all along. Removing the anxieties that come with traditional school may help your student get to the next level of their education in a much easier way.
As a teacher for Stride Learning Solutions Instructional Services Team, there are 3 Reasons I have seen students with special needs excel in an online setting.
· Flexible Pace: Students with special needs with can work at their own pace and at times of day that work best with their schedule. If the student needs to take multiple breaks, if they have appointments, even if they have to work, the typical 8:00-3:00 school day may not be appropriate for their learning, and the online environment provides an alternative.
· Customized instruction: Students can get more one-on-one attention in the online environment as well. Teachers are available during drop-in times but can also meet for appointments as needed for students to get direct assistance with an assignment. Teachers are also able to make resources like study guides, exemplars, help videos, recordings, transcripts, etc. available to students right when they need them because instruction is more personalized. This means students with special needs can get the customized help they need when they need it and before it’s too late.
· Increased Focus: It is often easier for students to concentrate in the online environment because they can work on one thing at a time, without being distracted by what another student is doing or working on. Students who experience anxiety in group settings, for example, can work away from that barrier by working asynchronously, and get the resources they need to get that lesson done.
Education no longer has to be “the way it’s always been.” With customized solutions like online school, no matter what special circumstances our students are facing, we can focus on getting them educated in the ways that work best for them.
Sara Poniatowski is a social studies educator on Stride Learning Solutions Instructional Services Team. She has been helping students excel for 20 years.