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Learning platform makes education more accessible for students with special needs

D2L, the global edtech company behind the learning management system (LMS) Brightspace LMS, makes education more accessible for students with special needs. 

Schools can collaborate with the D2L team in designing digital courses and educational tools that support specific learning needs. De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (SDEAS), for instance, uses images and videos to facilitate the learning process. Students can film themselves signing their essays in Filipino Sign Language as well as submit these assignments through the LMS. Feedback through videos in sign language is likewise possible on the platform.

“Students are provided with options regarding the time, place, and pace at which they want to learn,” said Rogelio Dela Cruz Jr., head of the Educational Technology Office at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, in a statement. “Differentiated learning—which is difficult to conduct in a face-to-face mode of teaching—is now possible.” 

Vision Australia, on the other hand, uses Brightspace LMS to teach their learners who are blind or have low vision. Educators use the built-in accessibility checker while building content to ensure it can be read by visually challenged learners. Course materials can be prepped to include alternate text describing images, which can then be read aloud by text-to-speech solutions like ReadSpeaker. 

Brightspace LMS works on every mobile device, with no need for a separate mobile app. It supports online and blended learning for schools, higher education, and businesses. Among its features are course-building tools for the content creation of lessons; a social activity feed for communication between educators and students; built-in analytics to keep track of student progress; a Quick Eval tool that enables teachers to prioritize assessments; and a Through the Discover tool that learners can use to search and self-enroll in courses they are interested in.

D2L grew its business from two clients to 27 in the last seven months. Globe Telecom Inc. has been a partner for over six years, and Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) Philippines came on board in May to strengthen the D2L’s position in the country’s edtech scene. Among the local institutions using the Brightspace platform are Emilio Aguinaldo College, Informatics Philippines, and The City Government of Taguig, which is responsible for Taguig’s 37 public schools. The platform also has users in Visayas and Mindanao. — P. B. Mirasol

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