4 October 2012
Week 4 main resource focus on VISCED project which I became aquainted with, on a conference that took place in Portugal in 2011.
VISCED is a european funded project that tries to make an inventory of virtual schools worldwide and in Europe, in particular.
The VISCED summary made available for this week is quite extensive and confirms that virtual schooling in Europe is addressed to specific target pupils/students, it’s not a generalised alternative schooling offer.
VISCED has identified 68 virtual schools and colleges in 18 european countries, mostly addressed to students with chronic diseases or hospitalized, with disabilities, travellers, school phobic or bullied students, drop-outs, in prison, young parents or young pregnant women, geographically isolated, immigrants with specific language needs.
The extent of the online varies as well, mostly blended learning. Other dimensions are taken into consideration such as geographical scope (schools with pupils/students, at regional, national and international level); as full-time schools or with a supplementary character; size of virtual schools; state/private funding.
USA is the continent with more virtual K-12 schooling offer, covering about 3% of total students in the educational system.
Canada has similar coverage between 2,8% to 3,4%.
Australia has a tradition of distance learning, considering vast isolated territories.
New Zealand has also three virtual schools with a relevant number of enrollments.
A list of links and reports in VISCED website – http://www.virtualschoolsandcolleges.info/links-and-reports
The portuguese example of mobile school (Escola Móvel/ Ensino a Distância para a Itinerância), for circus families (and travellers):
TV news on Escola Móvel
The belgium example Bednet for pupils/students with chronic diseases that interact through videoconference with their classrooms: