Virtual School Meanderings

January 3, 2013

VISCED Handbook – Virtual Schools and Colleges: Providing Alternatives for Successful Learning

Yesterday in the entry entitled Virtual School and College Provision – Handbooks and Program Ending, I mentioned highlighting the VISCED Handbooks…

VISCED Handbook – Virtual Schools and Colleges – Providing Alternatives for Successful Learning

VISCED Handbook - Virtual Schools and Colleges - Providing Alternatives for Successful LearningThese two volumes of the VISCED Handbook entitled “Virtual Schools and Colleges – Providing Alternatives for Successful Learning” are now available from the project team. Volume 1 includes a summary of virtual school and college activity around the world, a series of case studies, a description of a set of innovative piloting activities supported by the project and a chapter on policy challenges and opportunities. Volume 2 elaborates on good practice in online learning, describes the importance of teacher training, and includes the critical success factors as well as our recommendations for policy makers.

Documents:

application/pdf iconVISCED Handbook – Volume 1 – Virtual Schools and Colleges – Providing Alternatives for Successful Learning

application/pdf iconVISCED Handbook – Volume 2 – Virtual Schools and Colleges – Providing Alternatives for Successful Learning

January 2, 2013

Virtual School and College Provision – Handbooks and Program Ending

This came through my Google Reader over the holidays and I wanted to highlight it here…

VISCED ends – and continues
Submitted Sunday, 23 December 2012

Well, it has been an exciting couple of years! As I write, in a few days, the two-year funded period for VISCED comes to an end (31 December 2012). Both volumes of the Handbook are published in web and print. Some final work continues on polishing deliverables, right up till the last day of 2012. Many conferences have been attended and presented at. But all good things come to an end… or do they?

Well, not yet, and not completely.

  1. In line with the usual practice with LLP-funded projects, VISCED has two months (until end February 2012) to produce a Final Public Report (and various internal reports to the LLP Programme).
  2. A small Secretariat and maintenance team has been set up to look after the wiki and the web site for at least the next year. This will continue to encourage volunteer effort and other projects to update relevant parts of the wiki. It is likely that other projects on virtual institutions and Open Educational Resources will both draw on and contribute to the wiki. We foresee the wiki continuing as long as it is useful – and part of that is up to you, dear readers.
  3. The partners in VISCED have their individual exploitation plans and you will see several of us presenting on virtual schools-related aspects in conferences during 2013.
  4. Some VISCED partners will be working hard to embed more fully the concept of virtual schools and colleges into education systems of EU countries, collaborating with both public sector and private sector actors where appropriate to the national contexts.
  5. The new EU initiative on Open Education provides a wider context for VISCED partners to develop their ideas. One early example of this integration is the Policy Brief for UNESCO published recently on Alternative Models of Education Delivery, which drew heavily on VISCED ideas.

So you have by no means seen the last of VISCED!

But first at this time of year we wish you a good and hopefully relaxing holiday break with family and friends.

Paul Bacsich
Project Manager, VISCED

Note that I’ll post a separate entry – likely tomorrow – about the handbooks.

December 9, 2012

Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter – Join VISCED’s Webinar And Discover Our Main Outputs – 10 December 2012 15:00 CET

From Thursday’s inbox…

Dear Colleague,

I warmly invite you to join us for the VISCED Webinar on Monday 10 December 2012 where we will present the main findings of the VISCED project.

This webinar will take place on Monday 10 December from 15:00 until 16:00 CET. Project partners will give a summary of the main outputs of the project and describe the status of virtual schools and colleges in Europe. The agenda will also include a set of recommendations emerging from the work of the partners on how best to foster and encourage effective virtual schooling options for those who might benefit from flexible alternatives to traditional schools and colleges. Join us for a free webinar on the outputs of VISCED on 10 December
For the full programme you can visit our website. To participate please register to reserve your place (it is for free) and you will receive an immediate confirmation with the webinar link.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Nikki Cortoos,
on behalf of the entire VISCED Partnership

December 5, 2012

Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter – November 2012 Issue

From Friday’s inbox…

Dear Colleague,

as you are either part of the schools and colleges innovation community and/or you have been receiving the Virtual Campus Newsletter in the past, we are sending you the Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter. This is a newsletter published by the European Commission-funded VISCED project (a Transnational Appraisal of Virtual School and College Provision), which is extending the Re.ViCa research.

Thank you for your consideration,
The VISCED team.

Having trouble viewing this e-mail? View this e-mail online.

VISCED, A Transnational Appraisal of Virtual School and College Provision

About VISCED Subscription

Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter – November 2012 Issue

Friday, 30 November 2012.

Welcome to the Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter

This newsletter contains a variety of articles and reports related to the use of ICT in secondary and post-secondary education for 14-21 year olds in Europe and elsewhere. The Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter is an outcome of the European project VISCED which is carrying out a systematic review of virtual schools and colleges at international and national levels including a study into operational examples of fully virtual schools and colleges.

You are very welcome to send us news about developments related to virtual schools and colleges in your region or country, share this newsletter with your colleagues and join us on the Virtual Schools and Colleges wiki.

This months’ articles

News

Join us for a free webinar on the outputs of VISCED on 10 December

Join us for a free webinar on the outputs of VISCED on 10 December The VISCED Project partners are organising a webinar to present the main findings of the project on Monday 10 December at 15:00 CET. This one hour webinar will provide a summary of the main outputs of the project including a description of the status of virtual schools and colleges in Europe. It will also summarise a set of recommendations generated through the work of the partners related to how best to foster and encourage effective virtual schooling options for those who could best benefit from flexible alternatives to traditional schools and colleges.

Australia looks towards virtual classrooms

Image from Stuff.co.nz Stuff.co.nz recently reported that the Victoria state government will resort to using “virtual classrooms” – where multiple schools share the same teacher over the internet – as it may not have enough qualified staff to fulfil its promise to teach every child a second language. Before the last state election, Ted Baillieu promised a languages revival in which every Victorian student up to year 10 would be required to take on a language by 2025, starting with prep in 2015.

Official government report suggests changes in Swedish legislation

Official government report suggests changes in Swedish legislation A recent report in Sweden may make virtual schooling more available. The basic argument contained in this report is that every child should have an equal right to education. The report suggests that children in community care and children in need of distance education (such as children engaged in elite training) should be able to take part in distance or remote education.

Designing the Future Classroom Project actively engaged in pilot activities

iTEC logo iTEC (Innovative Technologies for Engaging Classrooms) is a major EU-funded project in which European Schoolnet is working with education ministries, technology providers and research organisations to bring about transformation in learning and teaching through the strategic application of learning technology. The project lasts from 2010 to 2014. The most recent newsletter available from iTEC describes current activities in the project which includes the launch of Cycle 3 at the iTEC teacher workshop, the availability of recommendations on mainstreaming pilot results and the creation of the iTEC Knowledge Map. Visit the iTEC website to find out more about what is happening in the project.

Extra funding available in the US to support literacy projects

Reading is Fundamental (RIF) in Washington, D.C., one of the recipiants of the IAL grants The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently announced the award of $28 million for 46 first-time grants that aim to improve literacy skills for students in high-need districts and schools. Funded for the first time under the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program, grants are designed to increase student achievement by promoting early literacy for young children and by motivating older children to read. “Literacy is the key to higher learning and a window to the world”, said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

e2020 Inc. Goes ‘Back to School’ with Courses based on New Interactive Instructional Model

e2020 Inc. Goes â?~Back to Schoolâ?T with Courses based on New Interactive Instructional Model High engagement curriculum, ­ media-rich, personalized ­ appeals to today’s digital learners. One of the fastest-growing providers of online learning solutions, recently announced that it has released a large selection of courses for the 2012-2013 school year. These courses were built on a new instructional model and expressly designed to meet US state and Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Reports

2012 Report on Online and Blended Learning in the US published

iNACOL annual review iNACOL has published its annual report on the status of online and blended learning in US schools. Entitled “Keeping Pace with K-12 online and blended learning – an annual Review of Policy and Practice” this ninth annual report provides a comprehensive overview of various trends and developments. In their opening snapshot the authors point to four themes that stand out from their research. First that while many US states have created or allowed some online and blended learning opportunities, apart from Florida, no state has yet created or allowed a full range of online learning options for students.

Latest edition of E-xcellence Manual on quality assessment published

Latest edition of E-xcellence Manual on quality assessment published The newest version of the E-xcellence Manual entitled “Quality Assessment for E-learning: a Benchmarking Approach” was launched at the 25th EADTU Anniversary Conference in Pafos/Cyprus. This manual is the main product of a suite of EU funded projects undertaken under the auspices of EADTU: E-xcellence (2005-2006), E-xcellence plus (2008-2009) and E-xcellence Next (2011-2012). The overall aim of these projects has been to develop a methodology and supporting resources for the quality assurance of e-learning in higher education.

Project news

Summary brochure available about the VISCED project

Summary brochure available about the VISCED project An 8 page glossy brochure summarising the main findings of the VISCED Project has been produced by the project team and is available for distribution. This publication is currently available in English however Danish, Estonian, Greek, Finnish, Swedish and Dutch versions will be available shortly. The brochure describes the prevalance of virtual schools and colleges in Europe and includes a series of short descriptions of examples, a set of key success factors and a list of main recommendations.

Virtual Schools and Colleges presentation at Media & Learning

VISCED Stand at Media & Learning Giles Pepler from Sero Consulting presented the VISCED project during the Media & Learning Conference held in Brussels on 14-15 November. During his presentation, Giles highlighted the ways in which virtual schools and colleges use media to support their learning offer. Giles also managed a stand at the conference where copies of the project handbook and brochure proved to be a very popular giveaway amongst conference participants. Media & Learning attracted more than 280 people from 41 countries, videos and presentations will be available from the online programme and the conference report will be available shortly.

Volume 1 of Virtual Schools and Colleges Handbook available!

Cover Vol I The first of two volumes of the VISCED Handbook entitled “Virtual Schools and Colleges – Providing Alternatives for Successful Learning” is now available from the project team. This volume includes a summary of virtual school and college activity around the world, a series of case studies, a description of a set of innovative piloting activities supported by the project and  a chapter on policy challenges and opportunities. The second and final volume of this handbook will be available in December.

Meeting of International Advisory Committee taking place in Berlin

Meeting of International Advisory Committee taking place in Berlin A half day meeting of the VISCED International Advisory Committee is taking place on Wednesday 28 November in Berlin. The agenda for this meeting will include a discussion about Key and Critical Success Factors for virtual schools and colleges, and will be based in the outcomes of several project reports. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss policy challenges, opportunities and recommendations for the future.

Presentation of VISCED at Online Educa Berlin

Presentation of VISCED at Online Educa Berlin A presentation of the VISCED project will be given by Nikolaos Zygouritsas, Lambrakis Foundation, Greece on Friday 30 November during a parallel session takng place from 11.45 – 13.00. This session is entitled “An online learning environment can go beyond replication of traditional classroom learning. Online Universities, Distance Learning, Virtual Schools: what makes them work and are they really innovative places?” and will be chaired by Paul Bacsich. The title of Nikos’ presentation is “Virtual Schools as Innovative ICT-Enhanced Learning/Teaching Exemplar Initiatives: What Makes Things Work?”

Critical Success Factors for Virtual Schools presented at EDEN Conference

Critical Success Factors for Virtual Schools presented at EDEN Conference Ilse Op de Beeck from KU Leuven gave a presentation about VISCED at the recent EDEN Research workshop held in KU Leuven on 23-24 October. This presentation, entitled “Virtual Schools and Colleges in Europe: Looking for Success Factors” was made on behalf of the VISCED partner EFQUEL and provided an overview of the process in which partners are engaged to identify a relevant set of success factors for the virtual school sector.

European Virtual School and College research presented at iNACOL

location for iNACOL conference in New Orleans Paul Bacsich, VISCED Coordinator, took part in the recent iNACOL Virtual School Symposium entitled “Inventing the Future of Learning” which took place from 21-24 October in New Orleans. This symposium brought together over 2,000 representatives from national, state, district, private, and other virtual school programs to take part in the largest K-12 online and blended learning conference of its kind in the US. Find out more from the conference website.

Contact the Editorial Team

ATiT, Leuvensesteenweg 132, 3370 Roosbeek, Belgium
Telephone:  +32 16 284 040
E-mail: Ms Nikki Cortoos <info@virtualschoolsandcolleges.info>.

Subscribe

Please fill in our online form to subscribe or unsubscribe or contact Ms. Nikki Cortoos <info@virtualschoolsandcolleges.info>.

Website: http://www.virtualschoolsandcolleges.info.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. For more information on the VISCED project, see the website.

October 1, 2012

Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter – September 2012 Issue

From Friday’s inbox…

Dear Colleague,

as you are either part of the schools and colleges innovation community and/or you have been receiving the Virtual Campus Newsletter in the past, we are sending you the Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter. This is a newsletter published by the European Commission-funded VISCED project (a Transnational Appraisal of Virtual School and College Provision), which is extending the Re.ViCa research. If you prefer not to receive this newsletter, you can let us know by e-mailing <info@virtualschoolsandcolleges.info> or by unsubscribing online.

Thank you for your consideration,
The VISCED team

Having trouble viewing this e-mail? View this e-mail online.

VISCED, A Transnational Appraisal of Virtual School and College Provision

About VISCED Subscription

Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter – September 2012 Issue

Friday, 28 September 2012

Welcome to the Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter

This edition of our 2012 newsletter contains a variety of articles and reports related to the use of ICT in secondary and post-secondary education for 14-21 year olds in Europe and elsewhere. The Virtual Schools and Colleges Newsletter is an outcome of the European project VISCED which is carrying out a systematic review of virtual schools and colleges at international and national levels including a study into operational examples of fully virtual schools and colleges.

You are very welcome to send us news about developments related to virtual schools and colleges in your region or country, share this newsletter with your colleagues and join us on the Virtual Schools and Colleges wiki.

This months’ articles

News

Controversial article about profit-making in US Virtual schools

Controversial article about profit-making in US Virtual schools The Portland Press Herald, a daily broadsheet with a circulation of about 50,000 and serving the largest and principal commercial city in the state of Maine recently published a highly controversial report on motives behind publicly funded virtual schools in the state claiming that Maine’s digital education agenda is being guided behind the scenes by out-of-state companies that stand to profit on the changes and stating that the online education companies that wish to operate Maine’s virtual schools divert precious public education dollars into profits and dividends while providing education of dubious quality.

Swedish school without classrooms

Swedish school without classrooms The Telefonplan School in Stockholm has taken a radically new approach to education that involves doing away with classrooms and grades and pioneering a system where students learn in groups at their level, not necessarily by age. The architect behind this school, Rosan Bosch, designed the school so children could work independently in open-spaces while lounging, or go to “the village” to work on group-projects.

FINNABLE 2020 Project is now online

FINNABLE 2020 Project is now online The Tekes funded FINNABLE 2020 is a value network project that creates new learning ecosystems which enable people to learn regardless of time and place. The main aim of the project is to create and develop technologically enabled practices that bring added value to learning and teaching and foster social practices that connect learners to global collaboration, promoting life-long learning.

Learn more about the Systemic Learning Solutions project in Finland

Learn more about the Systemic Learning Solutions project in Finland The Systemic Learning Solutions (SysTech) project promotes the learning and teaching of 21st century skills with the aid of Finnish educational know-how and technological learning solutions. The aim is to make systemic learning solutions an integral part of the Finnish education system as well as an essential part of Finnish education export. The goal is that systemic learning solutions are validated and implemented on a large scale into different educational systems.

ELE – New learning environments in teacher education in Finland

ELE - New learning environments in teacher education in Finland The ELE project is shaping the foundation of the welfare society nationally and internationally. The Finnish educational system and teacher training at the University of Helsinki have created a strong foundation for Finland’s success in PISA evaluations. The project uses top scientific expertise to develop learning contents, physical spaces and services and networks with the help of new technology, creating a platform for distributing the Finnish equal-opportunity model of teaching and learning both nationally and internationally. You can find out more at the ELE project site.

Really blended learning opportunities in Californian High School

Really blended learning opportunities in Californian High School A recent article in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports on students’ reactions to a highschool that combines virtual learning, face-to-face instruction and blended approaches with teachers in the classroom while a student is online in the same room. This new programme at Chaffey District Online High School offers the courses required for college preparedness in California, with the flexibility of allowing students to work at their own schedule with as much supervision and help as they need.

Take part in a European public consultation on Opening up Education

Take part in a European public consultation on Opening up Education The Commission services (DG EAC) has launched a public consultation on “Opening up Education — a proposal for a European Initiative to enhance education and skills development through new technologies”. This consultation is aimed at all stakeholders affected by education and training policies and systems, including school education, vocational education and training, higher education and adult education. Contributions are expected from public authorities, organisations and citizens. The consultation is available until 13 November 2012 – you can access it here.

Cutting costs through partnership in US cyber schools

Cutting costs through partnership in US cyber schools The US state of Pennsylvania is witnessing the emergence of new partnerships that help cut costs for students attending one of the state’s 13 cyber schools. A report in eSchool in late July highlighted the partnership which brings together The Learning Lamp and In-Shore Technologies who are now offering Blended Learning Technologies (BLT), which provides curriculum, teachers, hardware, and tech support for half the cost districts pay when a student enrolls in one the state’s 13 cyber charter schools.

Online for-profit college in the US faces difficulties

Online for-profit college in the US faces difficulties In the July edition of eCampus news there is a report on the problems faced by Ashford University, one of the fastest growing online schools. One of the biggest problems facing this college is the rejection of its request for accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Ashford’s own website makes no mention of these difficulties and continues to make large numbers of college-level courses available online.

Reports

Report on growing European eLearning market published

Report on growing European eLearning market published Some impressive figures are mentioned in a report published on 25 September by New Ambient Insight. According to this study, the growth rate for Self-paced eLearning in Western Europe is 5.8% and revenues will reach $8.1 billion by 2016, up from $6.1 billion in 2011, according to this Insight report called, “The Western Europe Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2011-2016 Forecast and Analysis.” In this regional report, revenue forecasts are broken out for twenty-two countries: Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, Slovakia, Greece, Bulgaria, Portugal, the Czech Republic, and Romania.

US Report on the growth of online courses and the rise in “for profit” colleges

US Report on the growth of online courses and the rise in â?~for profitâ?T colleges Cracking The Credit Hour, a new report by Amy Laitinen for The New America Foundation, describes how the growth of online courses and the rise in ‘for profit’ colleges is adding to pressure on US colleges and universities to move away from the traditional ‘seat-time’ based model towards a competency based model. In a move supported by the federal government, some schools, colleges and universities have already migrated to a competency based model – something which is said to have been particularly to the benefit of adult learners.

Schools Open Doors to New E-Learning Rules and Ideas

Schools Open Doors to New E-Learning Rules and Ideas This special report, part of Education Week’s ongoing series on virtual education, examines how US state policymakers, educators, and schools are rethinking and changing the rules for e-learning. It provides analyses on the benefits and drawbacks of these changes, and what to expect during this school year and beyond. Read this eMagazine focusing on US issues.

Important Canadian study on online learning reveals colleges as leading providers

Important Canadian study on online learning reveals colleges as leading providers A recent article in Contact North reports on the main outcomes of a key Canadian study into online learning. It showed that Ontario had over 20,000 online courses available from its colleges and universities and that these generated some 485,619 registrations, making Ontario Canada’s leader in online learning. The data also revealed that colleges lead universities in the proportion of their courses available online (23% versus 7%), indicating what the opportunities are for expanding the sector’s online learning provision. Colleges also lead in terms of the number of programs with 20% of college programs available online compared to 6% of university programs.

Events

Webinar “Benchmark Survey on the Best Practices for Implementing Online Learning Programs”

Webinar â?oBenchmark Survey on the Best Practices for Implementing Online Learning Programsâ? Implementing online learning can be a complex process, and a smooth implementation is critical for success. MDR Education Market Research recently conducted a survey of over 220 educators at all levels on the most critical success factors for implementing credit recovery, online courses, and full time programs. A webinar showcasing the survey results was held on the 20th of September 2012.

Projects

Film showing unconventional educational experiences in Latin America

Film showing unconventional educational experiences in Latin America This documentary film called “The Forbidden Education” is a collectively funded project based on a study which spans eight Latin American countries and analyzes 45 unconventional educational experiences, closely examining the logic of modern schooling and its understanding of education. Available in Spanish, but with English and Portuguese subtitles, it includes includes interviews with more than 90 education professionals who are applying alternative educational proposals.

Project news

VISCED to be presented at EDEN conference focused on students’ experiences

VISCED to be presented at EDEN conference focused on students' experiences “Learners in the Driving Seat”, the 7th EDEN Research Workshop, organised in collaboration with KU Leuven will take place on 22-23 October 2012 in Leuven, Belgium. This year’s workshop reflects on how students are driving teachers and instructors in the fields where new learning technologies play an important role. The VISCED paper “Virtual Schools and Colleges in Europe: Looking for Success Factors” was accepted and will be presented during the conference by Ilse Op de Beeck (KU Leuven).

Paul’s Blog

First state-funded virtual school in UK soon? Implications

Paul's blog The Sunday Times reported on 1 July 2012 that the Secretary of State for Education (England) Michael Gove “is expected to sign off on a further 80-100 schools in the next 10 days under the Tory policy to let parents, teachers, charities and other groups set up state schools. They will add to the 92 free schools so far approved of which 24 are already open.” One at least is expected to be a virtual school.

 

Contact the Editorial Team

ATiT, Leuvensesteenweg 132, 3370 Roosbeek, Belgium
Telephone:  +32 16 284 040
E-mail: Ms Nikki Cortoos <info@virtualschoolsandcolleges.info>

Subscribe / unsubscribe

Please fill in our online form to subscribe or unsubscribe or contact Ms. Nikki Cortoos <info@virtualschoolsandcolleges.info>.

Website: http://www.virtualschoolsandcolleges.info

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. For more information on the VISCED project, see the website.
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