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 DevicesEducators have many options when deciding what types of assistive technologies to integrate into classrooms.Federal About This ReportThis special report examines e-learning opportunities for students in special populations.Teaching Virtual Ed. Seeks Right Fit for Special PopulationsE-learning can benefit students with disabilities, English-language learners, and gifted and talented students, but researchers are still searching for the best approaches.Special Education E-Learning Opens Doors for Gifted StudentsIndividualized attention and expanded course selection are among the advantages for these students as schools work to offer programs under tighter budgets.Special Education Virtual Education Targets Rise of AutismE-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.Special Education Assistive Technology Broadens Its RangeExperts say a single software platform might accommodate learning differences of a number of students with disabilities.Special Education Training Educators for Virtual Special EducationTeachers who work with special education students in an online environment benefit from intense, targeted instruction to assure they meet students' needs.Classroom Technology New E-Learning Funding Tactics Seen as NecessaryDistricts across the country are tapping into a variety of financial sources, such as federal Title I money, to build and sustain virtual education programs.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.College & Workforce Readiness At-Risk Students Face E-Learning ChallengesOnline 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.Special Education E-Learning Expands for Special-Needs StudentsBut obstacles to greater participation remain, and questions persist about what works best for students with disabilities.