Who learns best in the online environment?

There is always a lot of debate about “who” is right for the online environment and what skill sets are needed to be successful. Below is a recent article that discusses the pros/cons to enrollment special education secondary (high school) students in online learning courses.

Published Online: June 14, 2010 in Education Week’s Digital Directions
Published in Print: June 16, 2010, as Going Virtual in Spec. Ed.

Educators Weigh Benefits, Drawbacks of Virtual Spec. Ed.

Weighing Benefits vs. Drawbacks.

After watching her son struggle in traditional and alternative public school settings, Ladona Strouse decided to try something new for the 11th grader: cyber schooling.

“To be honest, it was not our first choice,” she says, but Kyle, who struggles with bipolar disorder as well as a brain injury, was disruptive in school and was not getting the support he needed to be successful in a traditional education setting.

“At first, it was horrible, just because we didn’t know what we were doing, and he didn’t know what to expect,” says Strouse, the executive director of the Franklin, Pa.-based Heart 2 Heart, a support network for parents of children with behavioral and mental-health disabilities. “There was no real orientation, and within the first couple of weeks of the school year, I was ready to throw in the towel.”

However, after a few weeks of enrollment in the Agora Cyber Charter School, Kyle was assigned a special education case manager, and both Kyle and his parents began adjusting better to the school. In fact, during his first semester, Kyle received his first A in a course in three years, his mother says.

As online learning for precollegiate students continues to grow, more parents of children with special needs have begun to consider cyber schooling as a viable alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar schools.

Full article available at http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2010/06/16/03speced.h03.html?print=1

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