From Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education
Virtual schools and colleges - Index
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VISCED is making an inventory and carrying out a systematic review at international and national levels of innovative ICT-enhanced learning/teaching "Exemplar" initiatives and "e-mature" major secondary and post-secondary education providers for the 14-21 age group with a particular focus on Virtual Schools and Colleges).
This inventory supplies adequate comparative data, statistics and analyses to underpin policy recommendations, critical/key success factors and teacher trainer recommendations - for policy-makers, advisors, government, education authorities and the e-learning industry in the EU.
The review has been valorised by pilots at five schools in three countries. The key aspects of innovation that the project looked for in schools and colleges are "innovation in scale" and "innovation in sustainability" - that is, large-scale routinised solutions aligned with pedagogy and institutional/national goals, from socio-economic contexts with some relevance to EU realities. Success we hope was reached by adapting, piloting and transferring innovative approaches which already exist in other countries outside the EU (or in the EU) but not widely known, e.g. for linguistic reasons. Good practice examples of fully virtual schools and virtual colleges were studied as well as all major ICT-based "notschool" initiatives.
There is a learner focus on those not in, or in danger of not being in, employment, education or training (NEET) but there is not an exclusive focus on NEET - other types of inclusion issues have been analysed including facilitation (e.g. by university courses delivered online to schools) of more students from lower socio-economic groups to go into higher education.
The project has taken a global viewpoint in line with the latest thinking of analysts that there are models in a wide range of countries that are relevant to Europe, in both public and private providers. We have tried to ensure that conclusions are relevant to all EU countries, largest to smallest.
The VISCED project was funded from 1 January 2011 until 31 December 2012. During the period January-February 2013 it is preparing final reports on the project. VISCED was part-funded by the European Commission.
You can visit the project website with updated news from the field here: http://www.virtualschoolsandcolleges.info.
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