Wednesday, April 13
2:05-2:25 PM
Tidepool 5

Special Education and the Pivot to Online Learning during COVID-19: Lessons learned from those who lived it

Full Paper (Live Virtual) ID: 59223
  1. aaa
    Jean Kiekel
    University of St. Thomas
  2. Jennifer Courduff
    Azusa Pacific University
  3. aaa
    Peter Hessling
    North Carolina State University

Abstract: This phenomenological study was conducted to hear the voices of an oft forgotten group of teachers: special educators. While the world made the pivot to online teaching and learning, those who worked with students with disabilities were often left behind to fend for themselves. As educators around the world worked to provide educational experiences through virtual means, special educators faced unique challenges that required them to find unique ways to continue services to their students. Much of the current research coming out of the pandemic has focused primarily on general education with the primary focus on the tools used to provide education. Little is known of the lived experiences of the lived experiences of special educators or how they were able to provide services to their students. This study was done to gain an understanding of those experiences and discover what unique challenges they faced and how they overcame them. The reason this research is important is because the pivot to virtual teaching for this group was more complex than for general education teachers due to the complexity of the disabilities this student population faces. How special educators overcame the challenges and what innovations they created with technology is of importance to all educators. For teacher educators, understanding the challenges and sharing the innovations can make educator preparation classes more comprehensive for this group of teachers

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