Intimidated By Online Learning For A Special Education Class?

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In the past two years, education has completely changed. Online learning has become the norm. Online learning or remote learning can create accessible opportunities for both students and families to learn, even when they are not physically able to be in a classroom. The shift to online learning due to the Covid-19 crisis was difficult for many children because they had not learned in an online format before. Although transferring a normal classroom to an online or remote format is extremely difficult, it can be even more challenging to teach a special education program online. If you are currently teaching or thinking about teaching an online special education curriculum, here are a few things to consider. 

First, it is important to collaborate. If there is another special education teacher in your school, brainstorm some ideas with them. Talking about your curriculum plan with another member of your school's special education team can prove to be very helpful. Having a conversation with anyone who works at your school can be very helpful, but speaking with someone who is familiar with special education will yield the best results. Sharing thoughts and ideas with your coworker can help you think of some new or exciting ways to deliver an enriching distance learning program for your special education students. 

Second, create a list of engaging activities that you can help the class participate in, even though you will be learning online. Although every class is different, some fun activities like icebreaker games, I-spy, or even a show-and-tell are some ways that children of all ages can get involved in a special education distance learning program. Remote learning and online learning can be challenging because of the lack of face-to-face interaction with the students. The removal of this in-person interaction can create a disconnect when teaching an online special education program, which is why creating an engaging and fun online curriculum will be more important than ever.

Another way to create a welcoming online special education program is by taking the time to get to know your students. Although this process can be a little awkward when the format of the class is set up as remote or distance learning, there are a few ways this can be accomplished. When getting to know the students, it can be beneficial to use your creativity to think outside the box and come up with a few creative options. Communicating with the students via video chat or allowing the students to take a few minutes to share about themselves (if they are comfortable with that) are great ways to help the students feel more comfortable with you and the other students in your class.