Online Tool Enhances Education for Hearing Impaired Students

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ENGL 1010 July 26, 2012 Explaining a Concept: Essay 3 Online Tool Enhances Education for Hearing Impaired Students Hearing impaired students often struggle in a traditional classroom that is designed for students with normal hearing. John T. E. Richardson, a professor at The Open University in Great Britain, notes that, “Hearing impaired students experience considerable feelings of isolation, loneliness, and resentment…linked to separation and discrimination from hearing students.” He goes on to state that this is “exacerbated by features of the physical environment [in traditional classrooms]” (Richardson et. al 2004). There are standard methods to aid the hearing impaired in the classroom, such as having the teacher wear a special microphone or bringing a sign language interpreter. However, these strategies draw more attention to the students’ disability, and these accommodations can be expensive to implement. Hearing impaired students also cannot hear the teachers or their peers in the classroom, which impedes on their ability to participate in the class. Educators are beginning to explore online settings as an effective strategy for teaching hearing impaired students. Online education is a useful tool for the education of hearing impaired students, but it should not be the sole solution. It is most effective when blended into a traditional classroom setting. There are numerous advantages for students in general to take online classes. As William A. Draves explains in his book Teaching Online, online learning is more convenient and flexible than a normal classroom, as well as being more cost effective for the student and the educational institution (Draves 2002). With online classes, a student can take a class from thousands of miles away, and can access lectures in the evening or other convenient times. Online classes also provide students with a

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