A virtual learning academy has emerged as a major player in the global learning market, offering a unique platform to teach students with disabilities how to learn online and with the help of real-world teachers.
“If you want to be a success in this industry, you need to have a solid foundation,” says Jennifer Pate, CEO of Learning Network, a nonprofit focused on providing online learning to students with learning disabilities.
“We believe that the learning disability industry needs to find its footing.”
While it’s still relatively new in the education space, learning disabled students are a growing segment of the global education market, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The number of learning disabled adults is growing by 7.3% annually, according the latest report by the National Center for Education Statistics.
In 2018, there were 7.7 million learning disabled Americans, according TOEFL.
The new platform for the global learner market, Learning Network’s new Virtual Learning Academy, aims to meet that demand by offering students with the same opportunities that they would receive in real life.
The platform has been developed in partnership with the UConn School of Social Work and the University of Connecticut’s College of Social Science.
Pate says that the platform offers learners with disabilities the same flexibility and ease of learning that they have in real world classrooms.
“There are no barriers,” Pate says.
“All of the resources are there.”
Learning Network’s virtual learning facility is called the Learning Center, and the site features a wide variety of activities designed to help learners learn to speak, understand language, and be social.
The Learning Center features an interactive virtual learning platform that allows users to learn and interact with other learners.
Pate explains that each participant can pick a topic and learn by working with the virtual classroom, or they can select their own learning activity.
The learning center’s focus is on teaching children with learning difficulties to speak and read.
The site features an app that allows participants to download and upload a video of themselves talking, learning a foreign language, or doing other activities.
Learning Center’s website includes a guide to the learning activities and how to get started.
Pates says that while virtual learning is still relatively young, learning disability is on the rise.
The global market for learning disabled learners has grown by about 8% annually since 2018, according ToEFL data.
And in 2018, the number of learners with learning impairments grew by a similar amount, from 4.3 million to 5.7.
The market is now estimated to be worth about $2 billion to the global economy, according Pate.
The UConn College of Sport and Recreation offers learning disabilities a unique opportunity to learn while gaining valuable hands-on experience, according its website.
The school is a leader in providing academic and recreational learning to those with learning disability.
“We’re seeing that there is a big demand in learning disabilities across the world, so that’s something we wanted to provide that opportunity to,” Pates says.PATE says that Learning Network has found a market that can benefit from a more diverse workforce.
“I think it’s important for learning disabilities to be in positions of leadership and in positions where they can really help their community,” she says.
The Learning Network website lists a wide range of roles and opportunities for learners with a disability.
Learning Network also offers a variety of programs, including an online program called Learning Skills, that students can take online to build their skills.
The program features a variety, including the ability to design and build a custom learning program.
“The online platform helps students with a range of learning disabilities,” PATE says.