Abstract

Abstract:

The changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in more virtual instruction in schools. Teachers experienced multiple new challenges while moving online. As Fleming (2020) notes, “Unlike developing a whole-class lesson plan online, special education teachers are now tasked with developing unique plans for every student that align with their IEPs [individualized education programs], as required by federal mandate” (p. 1). In the present article, we consider how to best incorporate active learning, engagement, and critical thinking into an online learning environment while supporting language and social development for all students. Alexander (2020) notes the importance of socialization, observing that the loss of face-to-face interactions decreases students’ confidence and affects their mental health. We also consider how to meaningfully incorporate social interaction, engagement, and active learning to support deaf and hard of hearing students in developing a sense of classroom and school community.

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