One of the things the ongoing pandemic has taught all of us is that education is tricky. There is a fine balance between giving students space to work independently, and still making sure that they are meeting all of their standards. This is a challenge that teachers have known for a long time! Parents have had a crash course this year with the widespread onset of online learning. Students attending American and International schools in Dubai and the Middle East have had several options to choose from this past year. While this adjustment has been challenging for all, perhaps those who have been hit the hardest have been students with learning difficulties and physical impairments. However, online schooling can have some major benefits, particularly for students of determination.
Struggles for Children of Determination
Students who fall under the umbrella of having a learning disability can have a myriad of difficulties in traditional schools. Many brick-and-mortar schools, especially in Dubai and the Middle East, do not have programs that are designed to provide specialized help to students with special needs. Classroom teachers do their best with inclusion policies, but this is often not enough. As many parents with special needs students know, their children also often face bullying, mobility issues, and have difficulty focusing in busy, crowded classrooms. For many students, this is not an optimal learning environment and can slow down progress.
Benefits of Online Schooling
Online learning can provide benefits that make an immense difference in how students with learning difficulties view school. For all students, the main benefit online schooling offers is flexibility. When students have more choices on when and how they work, they will work more effectively. Online schooling can give students adaptable, tailored instruction that directly meets their needs. There doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all method!
Integrated technology is another extremely important benefit to online learning. Most schools in Dubai and internationally have made strides in updating their technology and using it to enhance students’ learning experiences. However, schools such as iCademy Middle East offer established, easy-to-use technology to help students thrive. Video lectures, subtitles, and integrated reading programs are just some of the ways learning becomes more accessible.
Children of determination also benefit from having a stable, comfortable environment from which to learn. Having a routine, restful place to work is crucial for students with a variety of learning difficulties. Add to that no longer needing to travel back and forth to school, which can be particularly difficult for some students, and families have more time to focus on learning.
What to Look for When Choosing an Online School
Online schooling doesn’t come without challenges. When deciding whether online learning is best for your family, consider all factors. Take time to ask those in enrollment specific questions about how they cater to students with disabilities. This is important, particularly in these difficult times. If they struggle to answer, it may be best to find a school with more experience! Quality of online schooling can vary wildly right now as many schools are still experimenting with what works. For more information on an American curriculum school in Dubai with experience helping special needs students online, click here.
*iCademy Middle East is an American curriculum online school that provides a comprehensive education to students based in the UAE and around the world. We are NEASC and KHDA accredited, and provide individualized learning and instruction from grades K through 12.