Special Report

E-Learning for Special Populations

August 24, 2011
This special report, another installment in Education Week's series on virtual education, examines the growing e-learning opportunities for students with disabilities, English-language learners, gifted and talented students, and those at risk of failing in school. It shows the barriers that exist for greater participation among special populations, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of this approach. It also looks at the funding tactics schools are using to build virtual education programs for special populations and the evolving professional-development needs for these efforts.
  • Special Education Assistive Technology Devices
    Educators have many options when deciding what types of assistive technologies to integrate into classrooms.
    Mary Catherine O'Connor, August 22, 2011
    5 min read
    Federal About This Report
    This special report examines e-learning opportunities for students in special populations.
    August 22, 2011
    1 min read
    Federal Opportunity Ripe For Online ELL Ed.
    English-language learners remain underenrolled in virtual-learning programs, despite the prospect of such benefits as self-paced study and an adaptive curriculum.
    Ian Quillen, August 22, 2011
    6 min read
    Megan DeLaunay, 17, works on her computer at home in Pinehurst, N.C., with her dog, Biscuit, nearby. Ms. DeLaunay is a recent graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Online Program, and will be attending the University of Richmond this year after graduating from high school a year early.
    Megan DeLaunay, 17, works on her computer at home in Pinehurst, N.C., with her dog, Biscuit, nearby. Ms. DeLaunay is a recent graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Online Program, and will be attending the University of Richmond this year after graduating from high school a year early.
    Jason Arthurs for Education Week
    Special Education E-Learning Opens Doors for Gifted Students
    Individualized attention and expanded course selection are among the advantages for these students as schools work to offer programs under tighter budgets.
    Katie Ash, August 22, 2011
    7 min read
    Jack Ursitti, 7, of Dover, Mass., has been diagnosed with autism and uses an iPad for leisure and for educational activities. "It’s a constant tool," says his mother, Judith Ursitti. "When we put an iPad in his hand, he immediately got it," she says.
    Jack Ursitti, 7, of Dover, Mass., has been diagnosed with autism and uses an iPad for leisure and for educational activities. "It’s a constant tool," says his mother, Judith Ursitti. "When we put an iPad in his hand, he immediately got it," she says.
    M. Scott Brauer for Education Week
    Special Education Virtual Education Targets Rise of Autism
    E-learning programs evolve to meet the needs of a fast-growing population of children with autism, but experts caution that online learning can have drawbacks for these students.
    Michelle R. Davis, August 22, 2011
    7 min read
    Brandi Allan, 17, is a high school junior in Daly City, Calif. She has dyslexia and uses specialized e-learning technology as part of her educational program.
    Brandi Allan, 17, is a high school junior in Daly City, Calif. She has dyslexia and uses specialized e-learning technology as part of her educational program.
    Ramin Rahimian for Education Week
    Special Education Assistive Technology Broadens Its Range
    Experts say a single software platform might accommodate learning differences of a number of students with disabilities.
    Mary Catherine O'Connor, August 22, 2011
    5 min read
    Tessa Falcetta, a rising 8th grader who lives in Grove City, Pa., has taken online classes in the past and will be taking them again when she starts school in the fall. Tessa has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dysgraphia, and general anxiety disorder.
    Tessa Falcetta, a rising 8th grader who lives in Grove City, Pa., has taken online classes in the past and will be taking them again when she starts school in the fall. Tessa has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dysgraphia, and general anxiety disorder.
    Jason Cohn for Education Week
    Special Education E-Learning Expands for Special-Needs Students
    But obstacles to greater participation remain, and questions persist about what works best for students with disabilities.
    August 22, 2011
    11 min read
    Classroom Technology New E-Learning Funding Tactics Seen as Necessary
    Districts across the country are tapping into a variety of financial sources, such as federal Title I money, to build and sustain virtual education programs.
    Michelle R. Davis, August 22, 2011
    5 min read
    Anaihs Espinoza, 18, is entering her senior year at Brady Exploration School, in Lakewood, Colo., which serves academically at-risk students from the Jefferson County School District using a hybrid of virtual and face-to-face learning environments. Ms. Espinoza, who has many friends who dropped out, wants to graduate and enter the medical field.
    Anaihs Espinoza, 18, is entering her senior year at Brady Exploration School, in Lakewood, Colo., which serves academically at-risk students from the Jefferson County School District using a hybrid of virtual and face-to-face learning environments. Ms. Espinoza, who has many friends who dropped out, wants to graduate and enter the medical field.
    Dana Romanoff for Education Week
    College & Workforce Readiness At-Risk Students Face E-Learning Challenges
    Online education can offer at-risk students a fresh start and welcome flexibility, but they also need support to help them take responsibility for their own learning.
    Katie Ash, August 22, 2011
    7 min read
    Teaching Virtual Ed. Seeks Right Fit for Special Populations
    E-learning can benefit students with disabilities, English-language learners, and gifted and talented students, but researchers are still searching for the best approaches.
    Ian Quillen, August 22, 2011
    5 min read
    Special Education Training Educators for Virtual Special Education
    Teachers who work with special education students in an online environment benefit from intense, targeted instruction to assure they meet students' needs.
    Michelle R. Davis, August 22, 2011
    6 min read