Making Remote Learning Content Accessible For Students With Disabilities

Published: December 12, 2022

school websites for learning- Making Remote Learning Content Accessible For Students With Disabilities

The pandemic may be on the decline but it has truly transformed the way we operate in every facet of our lives. Education and learning face an especially uphill battle. 7 million students in special education are currently affected by the pandemic.

The newer remote-heavy approach has, however, opened doors for new opportunities as well. The digital revolution gives us both the tech and the infrastructure to help disabled learners get equal learning opportunities in the comfort of their homes. 

The challenge remains in using technological advancement in including students with disabilities in the remote learning landscape. The goal is to help them learn efficiently and progress in every way possible.

5 steps to make remote learning accessible 

Students with disabilities usually have complex communication needs. They are not able to talk freely, which is why their teachers have to rely on visual indicators to provide them alternative choices to respond. This becomes difficult to replicate in online classes. 

Below are some ways to make remote learning accessible to learners with special needs. 

1. Utilise creativity and flexibility 

You can begin by grouping students that need special attention. Provide them with a user interface that is designed to accommodate their needs. Talk to them and ask what would make learning easier for them. 

Moreover, you can provide instruction modules, elaborate study material, and resources. The idea is to be creative and treat every student based on their needs. 

2. Support the students’ families for their success 

Educational institutions should ideally keep the parents of students in the loop at all times. It becomes even more important with special students.

Educating them about dealing with learning challenges goes a long way in making sure the learner receives an ideal learning environment at home. 

Train them to use the platform the learner is going to use. Let them know about the assignments to be handed out in advance. 

3. Focus on the key learning outcomes

Discuss with the administrators what learning outcomes are the most pivotal to the learning curve of a student. Focus on them and drop what is not needed. 

Do this on a student-to-student basis instead of the whole group together. Understand that not all students are learning at the same pace and some might need more time to grasp the same concepts. 

4. Ensure the content is accessible 

A crucial element of online learning is to ensure that students can access the information the way it is meant to. Students must be well equipped to make use of the content provided to them. 

See if they can log in to the class successfully, know how to use the keyboard correctly, can zoom in on the pictures and PDFs, and use closed captioning on videos when required. 

If the learners are unable to perform these tasks, take time aside to teach them these basics in a simplified manner. 

5. Conduct an audit of your website 

Conduct a thorough audit of your website to make sure it is accessible to all learners. It can be something as simple as the font size that may make it difficult for a user to use it with ease. 

Check that your website offers smooth navigation and clear access to PDFs and videos. Make note of what needs amends to improve on them. You may even ask learners themselves for feedback. 


The technological advancement in the wake of the pandemic has provided us with opportunities to revamp our educational infrastructure in more ways than one. We can especially help learners with disabilities by making learning more accessible to them than it ever was.

A little bit of planning and a proactive approach by teachers can help learners with special needs access and enjoy education opportunities akin to their peers. Train them and their parents to use platforms correctly and access learning materials. 

Keep them in the loop to relay necessary information and receive feedback. Act immediately in case they need assistance. Lastly, and most importantly, keep encouraging them to keep learning.

Jotter Learn vs Google Classroom

Published: April 27, 2020

During the current school shutdown, teachers and parents are trying to find the best solution to suit them in an effort to continue educating children around the UK. There are a range of types of solution, ranging from simply emailing worksheets, to using a full VLE. A popular choice for many is somewhere in the middle of this, the virtual classroom. 

We provide our own virtual classroom platform, Jotter Learn (find out more), alongside many other companies, including american multinational, Google. We were interested to see such a huge company getting involved in helping schools. To help schools figure out which platform is best for them, we put Google Classroom up against our very own Jotter Learn to see which one came out on top:

So it’s clear that google has a good product, which allows good, safe, access to online resources for schools, although the set up may not come with such ease, with no MIS integration, and G-Suite for education required to give access. Jotter Learn is easy to set up with groupcall MIS integration, and no prior accounts required. 
For easy-to-make, interactive, and fun online learning, get in touch now!


Gamification for Business – Infographic

Published: June 21, 2016

Our latest infographic illustrates some interesting facts on gamification for business and the benefits for learners. We hope you enjoy it!


  • $5,500 billion – Expected market growth of gamification in 2018.
  • $2,309 million – Expected game-based global revenue in 2017
  • $6,648 million – Expected simulation-based global revenue in 2017
  • $8,958 million – Expected global revenue in the learning games market in 2017
  • 89% – A survey showed that 89% of learners think a point system would boost their engagement.
  • 82% – are in favor of multiple difficulty levels and explorable content.
  • 62% – said they would be motivated to learn if leaderboards were involved.
  • 30% – prefer a progressing to different levels gamification strategy.

Expected Biggest Market on Gamification
North America followed by Europe

Main Benefits for Business
1. Fun Learning Experience
Gamification can result to a 100% – 150% increase in engagement according to M2 Research.
2. Social connections
80% of users take interest in gaming to socialise according to the University of Essex
3. Immediate feedback
Employees learn from mistakes, they adjust, and they master new skills in order to succeed at the game.
4. Behavioral change
When combined with repeated retrieval and spaced repetition, it can drive strong behavioral change.
5. Attract new recruits
America’s Army has attracted millions of potential new recruits by using gamification.

Webanywhere provides gamification for business using popular learning management systems (LMS), like Totara LMS. If you’d like to learn how gamification can benefit your business get in touch today.

Tom Starkey – Kids| Webanywhere Blog

Published: March 10, 2016

See also, parts one and two of this series.

I’m a teacher, so I tend to write about things from a teacher’s point of view, but apparently there’s another group of people in school that are supposedly of some import. You know the ones – those little ones who tend to talk a lot and generally get in the way.

When it comes down to it, everything that happens in a school should be for the benefit of the children, otherwise there isn’t really any point is there? That goes the same for any educational technology that’s introduced – if it doesn’t help the kids then there shouldn’t be a place for it.

So how does a good VLE go about doing that? How can it be of maximum benefit for the students using it? If you spend enough time with kids you start to learn a few things about them. One of these things is that they can be brutally, almost heinously honest. Anything from the book you are teaching to the colour of your shirt that day is fair game for a critique. This doesn’t come from a place of cruelty either (well, not always) it’s just that there hasn’t been enough time and experience for them to build up certain filters that might stop them saying something that has a full-grown adult wanting to crawl under his desk and cry for a bit because they’ve made an intentionally cutting remark about ‘the state of you, sir’. On the other hand, it does mean that they make extremely good product reviewers. When I asked a select few of them what makes a good VLE system (and after I’d explained the acronym) definite themes emerged.

The big thing that came out of this was that a VLE has to absolutely, positively, without a shadow of a doubt to be easy to use. Or else (and here came one of those honestly-bombs) they just won’t use it. A bespoke VLE has to compete with an extremely high standard of intuitive user interface from commercial apps outside the world of education. These apps streamline the process (whether it be to message someone, play a quick game of online pool or send a photo) to such an extent that it is done almost without thought.) There were complaints from the students of VLEs being ‘slow’ but, digging further into it, it was just that there had been a lack of thought (or in the worst cases – effort) put into the way that they might be used. For these students, the best VLEs were ones where the creators had taken time to consider the user experience; and not with just some generic ‘user’ in mind – but with an understanding of how a child or young adult might view and utilise the system during a typical school day. It had to be logical, smooth and inviting, navigation and labelling had to be obvious and there had to be immediate benefits for using the tools that had been included.

These things can be put in place but it takes an understanding of the way schools and other educational institutions work and also (perhaps more importantly) how the people inside those institutions work. Being honest about this process is extremely important – and if you want a good model for that, well, you’ve only got to talk to the kids (but do be prepared to spend some under-desk rocking time afterwards – and make sure that you iron that shirt).

Tom Starkey is an educator and consultant based in Leeds. He’s written for the Times Educational Supplement and Teach Secondary magazine. He tweets at @tstarkey1212 and writes at

Tom Starkey – Joys | Webanywhere Blog

Published: March 3, 2016

If a clunky VLE (see part one of this series) can cause no end of heartache to a teacher desperately just trying to get on with it (and consequently lead them to thoughts of abandoning all technology to draw slideshows on Shakespeare using a stick out on the muddy playing field), then one that works, and works well, is an absolute joy to behold. It can speed up and improve learning, increase communication and understanding, and act as a link between home and school (as well as a multitude of other things besides).

Also, on a purely selfish level, it can make a teacher’s life a heck of a lot easier.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I care about that other stuff as well – learning, kids, all that palaver, but I’m not above asking ‘what’s in it for me?’. If a system can streamline some of the things I do and make the day go by that little bit more easily, then I’m going to jump right on board with a ticket in hand. For me it doesn’t have to be ‘pedagogically transformative’ or ‘paradigm shifting’ (in fact, when I hear those terms, it often makes me die a little inside) but if it can augment my practice, then that often frees up time for some of the finer things in life. Finer things such as giving me some thinking space to come up with a way to get an idea across, or letting me create a resource that’ll be really useful, or giving me enough time to sit and have a second cup of coffee.

(The coffee thing is probably the most important quite frankly).

Because a good VLE system not only does the things it’s supposed to do reliably and with a minimum of fuss, it also acts as an enabler in relation to other aspects of the job.

Easy organisation and access of resources means you don’t have to chase a kid down to make sure they got the worksheet they conveniently ‘misplaced’ 4 times.

If you’re not chasing a kid down then you’re free to do other things.

Integrated organisational tools for the students allow them to take the impetus when it comes to the management of their learning, and not always look to you for guidance with the minutiae. If they’re doing it for themselves then they’re leaving you to crack on.

Tracking and progress tools lets you identify at which point a student is exceeding expectation or flags up when they might be struggling, without having to go through endless records to try and find that info.

If you’re not struggling with records then you’re doing something more useful (which is just about anything else apart from struggling with records).

A good VLE frees a teacher to concentrate on perhaps some of the more essential things that go on in schools; planning, relationship building, the drinking of coffee. It can shift focus from repetitive, mundane tasks to actual learning and, in the best cases, go further – it can help a teacher minimise unnecessary workload and get them out of the gates on an evening that much sooner. OK, so that’s not about the kids or the learning, but nevertheless it’s a very exciting prospect all things considered.

In my last post in the series next week, I’ll shift the focus away from wonderful teachers and place it on the students (who can be a little bit wonderful too, when they’re trying really hard).

Tom Starkey is an educator and consultant based in Leeds. He’s written for the Times Educational Supplement and Teach Secondary magazine. He tweets at @tstarkey1212 and writes at

Tom Starkey – Clunk | Webanywhere Blog

Published: February 25, 2016

Given the current focus in schools, colleges and other educational institutions on shifting resources online and the growing emphasis on sharing information digitally to streamline processes (perhaps freeing up some of that precious, precious time for teachers to actually go and and do some of that weird ‘teaching’ malarky they’re always on about), it never ceases to amaze me that, when I talk to fellow educators about their in-house VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments), the chatter is often about clunky, difficult to navigate, user-unfriendly (sometimes downright hostile) systems that seemingly do the opposite of what they were designed for.

Now, if I’m teaching, the very last thing I want to be doing is spending any extra time fiddling with a VLE to get it to behave. I don’t want to waste hours on end uploading and re-uploading and re-re-uploading resources because (for some reason only known to the system itself and Dave from IT who’s on long-term sick leave) it just didn’t take the first time. I don’t want my index finger to go numb as I click 48 different links to get to where I know that document is, only for it to be locked because a lesson pro forma is far, far too sensitive to be sharing with the people who actually use it. What I want is to spend my free periods drinking really bad coffee and planning really good lessons, not sat in front of a screen wondering if they would fire me if I just chucked the whole damn thing out of the staffroom window.

Because, as a teacher, time is just about the most precious commodity there is. We’re already well short of it, so if more is taken away by an unwieldy system, it’s taken away from somewhere else. That “somewhere else” might actually be important.

And that’s just us; if you want student buy-in, you best be sure that the product is damn-near flawless, otherwise you’re basically handing them an excuse to do absolutely nothing:

“Did you do your homework?”
“Sir, I couldn’t even find it on the system.”
“Likely story. Let’s just bring up the…oh. Oh OK. I’ll write it on a post-it not for you next time.”

Students won’t use something that doesn’t work. Heck, they won’t even use something that is vaguely difficult to work. And to be honest, I’m right there with them on this. Why should they? VLEs are supposed to augment the learning process, not act as yet another barrier to it. If a school wants to share information in this way than they need to get it right; not only for the sake of teachers’ sanity but also to increase the educational chances of those who are most important in the process.

At its best, a VLE system should be intuitive and reliable for both teachers and students. It should be specifically designed as bespoke to a particular educational organisation because (as is often so easily forgotten) no two places are the same. It will enable learning but be so efficient, that it’s almost invisible as it does so. And what they should never, never do is make a teacher or a student’s life any more difficult than it is already. They should work for us, not the other way around.

But enough with this negativity – in my next blog I’ll be harping on about the joys of using an EFFECTIVE Virtual Learning Environment and how it can benefit teachers (and not just in the ways you might expect). Thanks for reading.

Tom Starkey is an educator and consultant based in Leeds. He’s written for the Times Educational Supplement and Teach Secondary magazine. He tweets at @tstarkey1212 and writes at

As people start getting older, learning becomes more difficult. Some people argue this is because we already know too much, while others believe that the brain is like a muscle and if we don’t work it out it gets weaker. Whatever the reason is, there are some learning strategies that can help you learn faster, no matter what age you are.
Make your learning much easier by following these tips:

Learning platforms (or virtual learning environments) help learners improve the speed of their learning too by providing immediate feedback after each training session. Check out Totara LMS to learn more.

Open Source LMS for Education – the perfect online learning platform for your school

Published: February 3, 2016

“Teaching in the Internet age means we must teach tomorrow’s skills today.” – Jennifer Fleming.

Do you agree with this quote? I believe it is one of the most accurate quotes related to learning in the Internet age. It acknowledges the importance of providing our students with opportunities to gain and develop skills that will be most useful for them in the future. As discussed previously, technology is just a tool that cannot replace teachers. However, I am sure that every teacher should have some knowledge about how to integrate technology into teaching to help students develop a variety of skills. For instance, using different technology resources (e.g., quizzes, writing tools, drawing tools, forums, blogs) can be very useful for improving communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork skills. What is more, appropriate use of technology can help to improve literacy and to improve more technical IT-related skills.

The best solution for schools is to find a tool that could make learning more engaging for students and that would be easy to use at the same time because we cannot expect all teachers or even all students to be very confident with their IT skills. If you are looking for a tool that could improve elearning within your school I would suggest trying an open-source LMS.

A virtual learning environment / VLE (also known as a learning management system or LMS), is developed by educators, for educators.

It provides a private and secure learning space for designing online courses with flexible content and collaborative activities for students. What makes open source LMS unique is the fact that it is a free software based on its community, not on investors seeking returns or by selling customer data.

Why choose Webanywhere for e-Learning platform?

We are here to support your LMS in order to implement a truly successful learning environment in your school. Webanywhere is focused on improving e-learning within education. Using open-source LMS we are able to provide engaging e-learning platforms which improve the productivity of both teachers and students. We offer a wide variety of services ranging from theme design to implementation, training, and support for schools. We can help you integrate your VLE with SIMS for automated user management, real-time reporting on attendance and behaviour and for off-site access to SIMS data. What is more, we can help make homework management easier for teachers, students, and parents with our homework-management plugin. Read more about school jotter success stories here.

Main benefits of LMS for education.

Easy access. It is available anywhere with an Internet connection, meaning students, staff, and parents have 24-hour access to a huge variety of resources, activities and school information. This is great for students who cannot attend school for whatever reason because the platform allows them to access all the information taught in the lessons they have missed. It can assist in accessing homework materials, assignments, or additional learning resources that teachers upload.

Encourages collaboration. The opportunity to collaborate with other students and to work in teams makes learning more effective. An open-source LMS allows Students to ask questions and to help each other regarding any topic on discussion forums or via instant messages. What is more, students who are hesitant to put forward their views or opinions in the classroom can use LMS to express themselves and to get involved in different activities or projects.

Helps to make learning more fun and engaging. LMS can be used to upload assignment-related quizzes or games that can help students prepare for their assignments while being fun and helping to reduce stress related to assignments. Engaging and fun activities can be used to support teaching in the classroom and to support students at home.

Enables students to learn more independently. While an LMS encourages collaboration between students, it also enables them to have more control over their learning. For instance, teachers can upload supplementary activities, documents, links to websites or other relevant materials that are relevant to the lesson being taught. This helps students enhance their learning at their own time without having to do a research for quality materials themselves.

Flexible. An LMS is highly configurable and it can be customised with different features to meet the individual needs of your school.

Access to quality resources. It can help students access only quality resources that are uploaded by teachers without having to search for information themselves. This helps them stay focused on things that are relevant and useful for their learning. “Learners in the internet age don’t need more information. They need to know how to efficiently use the massive amount of information available at their fingertips – to determine what’s credible, what’s relevant, and when its useful to reference.” – Anna Sabramowicz

Most recent features:

-Drag-and-drop quiz question types.

-Streamlined course section editing.

-Better management of plugins.

-Display the date a file was uploaded.

-Do more on your mobile. 

Finally, I would like to encourage teachers to embrace technology to make learning more engaging for students because engaged students are more likely to be interested and to stay motivated to learn and perform well!

The Evolution of Technology in Schools [Infographic]

Published: January 26, 2016

There’ve been several significant advancements in educational technology over the past few years. From filmstrips to tablets and learning management systems, technology keeps changing in an extremely fast pace and reshaping the way everyone views education.

We have put together some of the greatest innovations for the classroom as it’s important to remember where it all started. Enjoy!

Learning Management Systems: Your Opinion – Part 4

Published: January 25, 2016

Welcome to our last post in the four-part series where education experts give their opinion on learning management systems. In this piece, David Palank, Principal at San Miguel School in Washington DC and Jeannette Geib, the Educational Director at the world’s first online high school CompuHigh, share their experience of using  virtual learning environments.
Also read:
Learning Management Systems: Your Opinion – Part 1
Learning Management Systems: Your Opinion – Part 2
Learning Management Systems: Your Opinion – Part 3
San Miguel School uniquely serves low-income youth in the DC area with a preference for those living in poverty and who would not otherwise have access to a high quality private education. San Miguel uses multiple Learning Management Systems at our school. They are an excellent tool for teachers and schools to monitor progress, give feedback, and gather data on student performance throughout the school year.

They benefit students in multiple ways. One of the ways they benefit students is that they give unbiased and immediate feedback. If a teacher gives you feedback, there is a chance that the student may feel that they are under ego threat and not accept the feedback. However, if a computer gives you feedback and tells what has been achieved or not, it is not a person telling you and therefore the student’s ego is not threatened.
Video games operate under similar principles. Many students enjoy video games because they are challenging, give immediate feedback, and operate on a progression through levels. They engage students because of these elements. Learning Management Systems operate the same way.
However, these systems are a tool, not a crutch. If teachers rely on them as their sole means of instruction, they are not using them properly.

I am the Educational Director at CompuHigh, an online high school that has been around since 1994. When this school was founded, there really wasn’t anything else like it out there; there wasn’t even a ‘World Wide Web’ to speak of, so doing high school online was a unique proposition.
Our founder, Stan Kanner, simply taught himself programming and created the software he needed to run a school on the internet. Today, our ‘homegrown’ Learning Management System works beautifully because the programming has always sprung organically from the needs of the students, teachers, and administration. We just say, “Hey can we have a button here that does this? Can we have a system that tracks this?” and Stan could make it happen, usually the same day.
I realise that most school systems are too large to be that nimble, but I would always recommend hiring a smart programmer and growing your system ‘in house’ rather than trying to buy an ‘out of the box’ LMS.