Classroom Technology Photos

Portraits: Special Populations

By Education Week Photo Staff — November 04, 2011 1 min read
Jack Ursitti, 7, of Dover, Mass., has been diagnosed with autism and uses an iPad for leisure and 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.
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 education program.
Megan DeLaunay, 17, works on her computer at in her home in Pinehurst, N.C., with her dog, Biscuit, nearby. Ms. Delaunay is a recent graduate from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Online Program. She'll be attending the University of Richmond next year after graduating high school a year early.
Anaihs Espinoza, 18, is entering her senior year at Brady Exploration High School in Lakewood Colo., which serves at-risk students from the Jeffco Public School District in a hybrid of virtual and face-to-face learning environments. Ms. Espinoza prefers her school's learning environment because she does her own work on the computer and at her own pace. Espinoza says, "It's actually harder because it's up to you to work or not," she said. "If you want to graduate you have to do the work."
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.

For this special report, examining the growing e-learning opportunities for students with disabilities, English-language learners, gifted and talented students, and those at risk of failing in school, we decided to take a different approach. Rather than photograph students in a classroom, we instructed the photographers we hired for this project to attempt “documentary portraits” that would convey in a single image who these students were, and why we were featuring them.

A version of this article first appeared in the Full Frame blog.

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