Finding virtual schools
The VISCED project is now in its second and final year. We are now finishing off many pieces of work so that we can begin the major task of creating the VISCED Handbook on virtual schools. This means that by the middle of the summer we have to have a list of all the virtual schools in the world (for ages 14-21) which is as complete as it can be within our resources. (With the exception of the US - numbers there are still growing fast.) Since the VISCED project is wiki-based, we shall continue to collect virtual schools right up until the end of the project but it will not be possible to include data from these latecomers in our analyses. We are hoping that you, our readers, can help us by "crowdsourcing" new virtual schools in the next 6 weeks.
At present thanks to our International Advisory Committee (which met last week in Sheffield) and other helpers far and wide (thanks especially to those in New Zealand) we have more leads to follow up than we can within our own resources. Also we are now focussing on countries where there is often little material in English and this makes it much harder to discern what is going on. We are particularly interested at present in East Asia. Our focus in "East Asia" is in particular China, Japan, South Korea and Mongolia - we do know of some projects but suspect that there are many more, especially in China. Maybe experts among our readership with language competence in this region can help us?
Also, we have been a bit surprised that we have not found more virtual schools in the Middle East. We heard last week that there is at least one in the Gulf States, and this makes us wonder whether there are more, perhaps not documented at all except in Arabic. So again maybe local experts can help us.
Sometimes virtual schools lurk under other names (in English or the local language) - cyber schools, online schools, virtual high schools, open schools, distance high schools, and open education - we are now finding a few when looking for sites offering open educational resources.
All contributors will be acknowledged on the wiki for their contributions.
We hope you can help us - and help us to make public more knowledge about virtual education in countries across the world, especially your countries.
And we are always keen to hear more about what is going on in virtual education in EU countries.
Paul Bacsich, now back in Sheffield