Online Learning Supports Needs of Special Education Students

LoTL Editor


Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 12:00pm

More than 13 percent of America’s school-age population requires special education today, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In raw numbers, that’s more than six million children who could benefit from additional learning tools and teacher support each and every school day.  Despite this evident need, many educational institutions across the county are struggling to staff special education positions because of a national shortage of qualified teachers and clinicians. These challenges leave both schools and the students they serve struggling to meet academic goals. However, districts and schools that have embraced online learning are able to leverage online tools for special education to successfully provide the federally mandated services that students who are struggling to overcome learning disabilities require.

Companies, like PresenceLearning, offer schools and parents “anytime anywhere” access to a nationwide network of highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs), occupational therapists (OTs), special education teachers, and mental and  behavioral health professionals who work directly with students via web-based videoconferencing using a full suite of online tools and evidence-based therapeutic activities.

But is it really effective? Recent research funded by the Department of Education shows that the PresenceLearning solution yields equal or better outcomes compared to national norms for traditional speech therapy.

Allison Oxford, Director of Instructional Support Services at Murray County Schools in Georgia experienced success first hand. Murray County Schools had trouble finding speech-language pathologists to serve the needs of their students. They decided to try online speech therapy. “They are digital natives, this generation; and they are much more engaged in computer activities than face-to-face,” Oxford notes in this video.  By leveraging online therapists, Oxford explains that it’s like having an additional case manager on staff.  And students really enjoy and engage with the format making it a successful strategy for the school, staff, and students.   

With similar goals and a complementary educational philosophy — to leverage technology to deliver students personalized learning—PresenceLearning and Fuel Education are working together to provide schools and districts the educational services they need, in a format that works best for their students.

To learn more about the partnership, read the full press release here


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