Today’s technology is changing how education is consumed. People are moving away from the traditional classroom setting to e-learning. The new digital learning environment offers various devices and tools for improved learning. Research suggests that e-learning is more effective compared to traditional classroom learning.
Every person learns and absorbs information at a certain speed and way. E-learning provides a flexible platform enabling every learner to learn at their unique pace. When mixed with instructor-led learning, the learning process is enhanced. This is why more people are embracing e-learning.
Among the benefits of e-learning include; studying from anywhere, and anytime. E-learning supports focused learning. It gives you an opportunity to study what you feel less confident on. Also, e-learning promotes self-discipline.
E-learning for blind students
E-learning enhances learning for modern students. However, just like in the traditional classroom, blind students face challenges with e-learning. This can hinder them from learning successfully. According to the World Health Organization, blindness is a common problem. Estimates show that 1.3 billion people suffer from some form of vision impairment. Out of these, 36 million are blind. This is a large number to ignore when it comes to learning. It is important to support blind students to access e-learning. This way, they can have equal learning opportunities like other students.
E-Learning doesn’t have to be intimidating for blind students. Through assistive technologies, e-learning can be fun for blind students too. Learning content should now be accessible to all readers regardless of their ability. This provides a great avenue for accessing quality education. Thanks to technology advancements, blind students can now navigate e-learning classes and materials. The technology gives all blind students support in all learning areas.
How to help blind Students with e-Learning
- Learning accommodations
Accommodations help blind students with e-learning. Among these are;
Online library services
Online library services are useful for blind students. They lead the students to the right database. They also help in getting a lot of search filters and techniques. Digital delivery is also supported by online libraries. This means a document can be delivered as a PDF. Assistive technologies then help read the document.
Online tutors help blind students address any e-learning gaps. They are of great value. Writing service tutors work with students through chat or video. There are tutors for every subject. This service can help blind students through e-learning.
Disability resource center
Most educational institutions have disability resource centers. These centers help blind students to meet their learning needs in E-learning. The centers help in acquiring assistive technologies. The centers also ensure that e-learning apps adopted are compatible with assistive technology. This enables students to navigate easily in digital learning.
Alternative completion routes
Allowing blind students to use alternative completion routes help them with e-learning. This includes allowing the use of assistive technology to complete tests and assignments. These options provide blind students with equal learning opportunities.
- Assistive technologies
Assistive technologies help blind students overcome e-learning challenges imposed by visual challenges. With the right technology, a blind student’s learning is enhanced. The following assistive technologies will help them with e-learning.
E-learning requires the use of a computer or related devices. As a blind student, using such devices can be difficult. However, with several tools, you can be able to use them. Such tools include braille keyboards. This solution helps blind students to navigate web and text documents while translating in the real-time digital text to braille characters. The VoiceOver feature helps blind students to know what is happening on their computers. The feature describes the event on the device. It also guides the user on how to make selections and perform functions.
E-learning studying can be challenging for blind students. However, this can be solved through technological assistance. Various tools are designed to provide the necessary help. SoundNote enables blind students to create audio recordings while taking notes. BrailleSense U2 supports braille note-taking. Such tools enable students to organize notes in a way that they can study them. The tools make e-learning accessible for blind students.
Every student has to learn some maths in school. Various tools can help blind students to navigate math courses online. Such tools include MathTalk. The tool supports the learning of math concepts through audio and speech functions. Talking calculators are also helpful. They announce functions, numbers, and answers. Some talking calculators have braille-embossed keys.
Speech recognition software
Speech recognition software enables blind students to dictate writing to the computer. Various software options are useful. These include Google Docs Voice Typing. Google docs, a free word processing software, has a dictation function. Windows Speech recognition has functions that enable the user to navigate computer hands-free and dictate writing. Dragon Naturally speaking allows speech commands to operate a computer. Blind students can dictate what they want to write with the software.
Reading is inevitable in educational institutions. This can pose a challenge to blind students. Acquiring and reading texts in e-learning isn’t simple for blind students. Luckily, assistive technology provides the necessary help. Tools such as ClaroRead provides reading and writing assistance. The tool reads digital documents with human-sounding speech. It also has many playback options. Eye-pal vision reads digital text aloud. Voice Dream Reader converts documents into audio. Also, vBookz PDF Voice Reader helps in reading a PDF. Utilizing these tools can help blind students to have a smooth e-learning process.
Various tools can help blind students with writing in E-learning. goQ software offers various programs that assist in writing in the form of predictive text and speech-to-text technology. Voice Dream Writer helps through proofreading functions and on reading texts aloud. These are among tools that help blind students overcome writing challenges in e-learning.
Organization and productivity assistance
Blind students may have challenges making effective plans. However, with technological assistance, these challenges can be avoided. Say it and Mail it Pro allows managing, dictating, and sending of emails through vocal commands. By integrating this software in e-learning, blind students are enabled to fulfill all the tasks.
The law requires that e-learning is made accessible to all students. This includes blind students. Ethos require educational institutions to make e-learning accessible to all. Also, the benefits of e-learning require that it is accessible to all. Learning accommodations and assistive technology can help maximize the potential of blind students. Investing in the best designs in making applications and content usable by all students is essential. This is considering the growing reliance on the internet for learning.
Kay Evans is an experienced brand manager and Co-Founder of the Essaymojo Writers, resourceful writer and passionate blogger. Being obsessive about writing, He collaborates with different college courses covering various Subjects as a guest tutor. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.