E-Learning: Way To Improve Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students' Education Quality
Deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals have many barriers when it comes to getting an education. It is an environment that they find difficult to be in, from not having the motivation of going to school, being afraid of not being able to understand the material to fear what other people might think of them (Pappas, et al., 2017). Today we practice multicultural education, which is equal to all students no matter how different they are from a culture, gender, color, and even disabilities (Cushner, McClelland, & Safford, 2019). We want all students to be able to get the education they deserve and to succeed like their hearing peers no matter the obstacles that present themselves (Cushner et al., 2019). In order to be inclusive and help individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, we must find teaching methods that will help students flourish at school, and to do so figuring out what helps them learn and retain information is crucial. Moreover, we need to eliminate a clash of cultures between students and teachers (Cushner et al., 2019). We want teachers to be more culture-bound and try to be more open-minded about other differences (Cushner et al., 2019). Being able to learn from others is the knowledge that can later be used to apply to their lesson plans and teaching methods that can help other individuals understand (Cushner et al., 2019). Therefore, learning how to present information to deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals so that they can get the education they deserve and succeed is essential in multicultural education.
In the article, a study was presented to examine the learning needs of deaf and hard of hearing to create e-learning that would help participants with their educational needs. Electronic learning is a new technology that can help anyone use it as a tool to make the task much easier (Pappas et al., 2018). Through the internet, barriers such as communication do not exist which is vital for those with a disability who struggle to talk to others in person (Pappas, et al., 2017). Therefore, providing e-learning to deaf and hard of hearing individuals can help their needs and improve their quality of education (Pappas, et al., 2017). This would help individuals have equity, not only is it the right thing to do for them but it would also improve civic responsibility. However, it is difficult to make e-learning program for people who are deaf since everyone has a different level of deafness and skills vary (Pappas, et al., 2017). Deaf people use sign language to communicate, images are easier to read and text and should be taking in acknowledge to create a program that is successful (Pappas, et al., 2017). Schools are the best institutions to provide resources and support to individuals that need extra help with their needs (Cushner et al., 2019)
In the research, an online 13 question questionnaire was created for 53 adults who are deaf and hard of hearing to learn how to present information to them. Participants were of different ages ranging from 25-55 years old and were male and female. Different levels of deafness also varied as well as educational background and employment status. The results were that smartphones were the most preferred devices over tablets and computers leading to an e-learning service as a mobile app being central. The most common reason they used online services were for social media, making emails, and news. However, this depended on the age of the individual, employment, and education status. Studies also showed that deaf people can be distracted by their surroundings so modules should be broken up into shorter segments with as little text as possible. Videos and images are more ideal and sign language should be a primary way to show material since it is the way deaf and hard of hearing individuals communicate and are used to seeing. Since technology is something new that has been incorporated into classrooms teachers might not be used to using technology and incorporating it into their learning methods. For instance, usually at school phones are not permitted and should be kept off and put away. Teachers who have deaf or hard of hearing students should try to learn about a deaf culture so that they are able to interact with students who are different and be able to actually help them as well (Cushner et al., 2019)
The information in the article was very helpful to understand how to aid a person with deaf or hard of hearing. They find e-learning to be very helpful and feel more comfortable as well using the internet. I will use the information regarding using e-learning to apply it in my classroom such as adding technology like tablets and computers and hopefully if allowed phones since it is the number one device, they feel more comfortable using. I will incorporate my lesson plans to be broken up in shorter segments and show videos in the classroom with subtitles. I understand that sometimes we teach in a different way that can be better so we can help those who needs are a little more different. For instance, if I am teaching my students the alphabet, I would incorporate a video song with the alphabet letter with a person in the video making American sign language as well. Not only would it help the deaf student to understand and learn the material, but the rest of the classroom would also learn American sign language. This would be helpful so that other students could learn to communicate with their peers. Learning American sign language is something that will stick with me forever and the students it could always come in handy because you never know who you are going to meet. Being able to communicate with someone is so important and learning different languages even American sign language can be helpful to make communication be more effective. Moreover, this would teach students as well about diversity and how we are all different. It could help they learn to be accepting and to feel comfortable around individuals who do not look or speak in a similar way as them.
Cushner, K., McClelland, A., & Safford, P. L. (2019). Human diversity in education: an intercultural approach (9th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
- Pappas, A.|Demertzi, M., Yannis|Koukianakis, Lefteris|Kouremenos, Dimitris|Loukidis, Ioannis, & S., A. (2017, November 30). E-Learning for Deaf Adults from a User-Centered Perspective. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?q=deaf&pr=on&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_2015&id=EJ1201437
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