Above all, special education programs and classes should be supportive of special needs students in ways that general education courses are not. Contrary to popular assumptions, many of these systems of support include adaptations, approaches, and services that do not necessarily rely on classes meeting in person. It's true that remote special education programs present their own unique challenges, but the benefits are just as numerous. Take a look below to discover just a few of the ways in which online special education classes benefit students, teachers, and parents alike.
Making Learning Fun with Online Platforms
Online learning that adds elements of gamification can be distracting during the course of an in-person class. With everyone gathered together on a video meeting platform, however, they can be a fundamental part of a course's curriculum. There are several online educational sources you can use that are all fun options that students of different ages can enjoy. Many games can be used both as diagnostic or formative assessments, as well as for review at the end of a unit. Likewise, students can compete against their peers, or simply try to achieve a high score on their own as part of independent study.
Keeping Settings Familiar
While it might seem surprising to some, online special education programs carry with them a long list of social benefits. This is primarily because of how overwhelming in-person learning can be for students who struggle with sensory overload. Even in a classroom with a supportive teacher and staff, things like bright lights and unexpected noises can make learning difficult. In the comfort of their own homes, however, many students feel much less anxious about socializing with their classmates. While this might not hold true for one hundred percent of students, a familiar setting can mean the difference between stagnation and sudden growth.
Shifting the Student-Teacher Ratio
During in-person classes, teachers and special education para-professionals may be able to deliver group instruction with few issues. On the other hand, they may find it difficult to offer additional help one-on-one, or to students working in pairs. This is where online special education programs shine. Working together through online video platforms, they are able to effortlessly add students to private meeting rooms that are free of distractions. This fluid shifting of the student-teacher ratio means that students are able to get direct instruction more frequently, which can, in turn, transform what students are able to achieve in the classroom.
Keep these tips in mind when looking for online special education programs near you.