How Remote Learning is Impacting Students With LSPs

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Remote learning has been a challenge for students, teachers, and faculty. Remote learning is something that a lot of people have not ever done before. A big challenge with remote learning is if it works with your learning style. Some students with LSPs are having a positive outcome with remote learning while others have to work a little harder than others.

LSPs stands for a “Learning Support Plan” at Northwest. It is a plan at Northwest where if you have any learning differences/ challenges, you have people that you can go to, to develop a plan to get extra support and accommodations. It is a good way to make sure the teachers and faculty can support your learning challenges and needs. 

I myself have learning challenges and am a part of Northwest’s learning support plan. From my personal perspective, remote learning has been harder for me then in person learning. Because of my learning challenges it’s harder to stay focused in a learning environment at home. It can be really easy to have a lot of distractions and get off task. Sometimes, it can also be harder for me to personally connect with teachers because we are not in person. Advocating and asking for extra support is still really helpful during remote learning.

I got the chance to talk with Hillary French and Rae Page who both work on learning resources for students at Northwest. Hillary and Rae both personally work with students with LSPs to advocate for the students and their learning needs.

Hillary shared with me her personal opinion on how remote learning and how it has impacted students with LSPs she stated, “I think remote learning has had both successes and struggles for students with LSPs from my personal experience. I have witnessed some students who really struggled when we were in in-person school adjust to remote learning with great success and are doing better than they would have been in a traditional school year. At the same time, I have also seen students struggling and longing for easier access to their teachers by being able to find them in the building, having in person communication, and missing not being able to have the hands-on learning experiences that can be so beneficial for some learners.” 

Rae also went on to tell me their personal opinion on if remote learning is more challenging for students with LSPs saying, “I don’t think that categorically, remote learning is more challenging for students with LSPs than for students without LSPs. However, there are elements of remote learning that are challenging across the board and may be especially hard for students with certain learning profiles.” Rae also told me another example of how remote learning could be challenging saying, “Another challenging element of remote learning is zoom fatigue and eye strain. It can be exhausting to sit in front of a computer all day and then have more homework to complete and submit on the computer later in the afternoon. Some students struggle to manage the ever-present distractions of the internet with social media, games, or notifications interrupting their thoughts.” I can very much agree with this, even if you have an LSP or not, remote learning can be challenging for you depending on your learning style. Remember to never hesitate to reach out for the support that you need during these challenging times.

Hillary then went on to tell me what Rae and she are doing every day to make sure students with LSPs are getting the best support that they can get saying, “One shift we have made that supports all students, but LSP students were a big driving factor in this shift, was changing our Learning Management System from OBA to Canvas. Many students with LSPs struggled to track their work and the various expectations for each class, and the shift to Canvas has significantly relieved these pressures. With the gradebook on Canvas, for the first-time students can see their missing work and track their own grades.”Hillary then told me another way they are supporting students saying, “Every day, Rae and Hillary are tracking students’ grades and missing work and meeting with teachers, advisors, parents, and/or students to offer support, make changes to LSPs, and advocate for students.”

While this is not everything that Hillary and Rae do to support students with LSPs, these two astonishing examples show the hard work and care they put into supporting students. Thank you, Rae and Hillary for supporting and advocating for kids and their learning needs!

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